Dodgers sign Paul Maholm

USA TODAY Sports

Maholm can earn up to $6.5 million if he reaches all his incentives. Scott Elbert was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.

GLENDALE -- Pitchers and catchers reported to camp at Camelback Ranch on Saturday, and there was a new face in the Dodgers clubhouse. The club reached an agreement with left-handed starting pitcher Paul Maholm, who signed a one-year, major league deal.

Maholm will receive a $1.5 million base salary, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, with up to $5 million in performance bonuses per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, bringing the total potential value of the deal to $6.5 million.

To make room for Maholm on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers placed Scott Elbert on the 60-day disabled list. Elbert is recovering from Tommy John surgery last June.

Maholm took his physical on Saturday, and will wear uniform number 46.

Manager Don Mattingly declined to specifically address the Maholm signing before it was official.

"I feel like I shouldn't be talking about a guy that's not official yet," Mattingly said, only offering, "This guy can pitch."

Maholm, who turns 32 in June, was 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA in 26 starts for the Braves in 2013, with 105 strikeouts and 47 walks in 153 innings. He was left off the Braves' NLDS roster against the Dodgers.

In his career his peripherals are pretty much in line with his regular numbers, as his 4.28 career ERA isn't much different than his 4.18 FIP and 4.14 xFIP. In his eight years as a starter with the Pirates, Cubs and Braves, Maholm's ground ball rate of 52.0% is the seventh highest among starting pitchers with at least 1,000 innings.

Maholm gives the Dodgers insurance for Josh Beckett, who is coming off surgery to relieve nerve pressure from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Beckett enters spring with no known restrictions, but is the fifth starter, a position not needed by the Dodgers until as late as April 19.

The Dodgers plan to have Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke start the opening two games in Australia on March 22-23, but Mattingly said he plans to have Hyun-jin Ryu and Dan Haren ready to start as well by then, just in case.

"I don't want to take [Beckett] out of that mix, but we don't want to force him forward," Mattingly said. "We want the spring to go according to what he's capable of doing. We want to take our time and be careful."

Maholm gives the Dodgers 58 players in camp once position players report on Feb. 13. The Dodgers have $244.725 million committed to 25 players in 2014.

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