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Dodgers sign Chad Gaudin to minor league deal

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers on Wednesday signed pitcher Chad Gaudin to a minor league contract which includes an invitation to big league camp.

Gaudin, who turns 32 in March, did not pitch in 2014, sitting out all year with a neck injury after failing a physical in Phillies camp. He last pitched in the majors as a swing man for the Giants in 2013, going 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA and 3.34 FIP in 30 games, including 12 starts, with 88 strikeouts and 40 walks in 97 innings.

Dodgers scouts saw Gaudin pitch in Los Angeles this winter. He has pitched for nine teams in his 11-year big league career, including two stints in Oakland (2006-2008, 2010), where current Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi was in the Athletics front office.

"Obviously there is a personal relationship there. I've seen him firsthand, and that helps," Zaidi said. "I've seen him have a 200-inning season for us [in 2007]. He probably should have made the All-Star team that year."

Gaudin was 11-13 with a 4.42 ERA and 4.69 FIP for the A's in 2007 in 199⅓ innings over 34 starts, but that included a 2.88 ERA and 8-3 record before the All-Star break.

"We saw him throw a couple bullpens, and he threw well," Zaidi said. "It's a minor league deal, and we'll see what happens."

The signing of Gaudin gives the Dodgers 61 players in camp, including 19 non-roster invitees.

"He's a guy who's started in the past, relieved in the past, has big league experience. Like everyone else, we've got six weeks to see what it looks like," said manager Don Mattingly. "We'll see how our innings are early, and go from there. But right now we're not looking to build him up as a starter. I'd say more extended innings, see what his stuff looks like."

While a long relief role might be his path to the Dodgers bullpen, Gaudin would probably start in the minors if he doesn't make the club. Gaudin does not have an opt-out clause.

"I don't know if we have innings for him here, but ultimately we view him as starting depth in Triple-A," Zaidi said. "We'll try to build him up and see how it goes."

Gaudin is wearing No. 30, which is the other shoe to drop from Tuesday, when infielder Darwin Barney switched from No. 30 to No. 6.