The Dodgers sign Jon Garland to a one year, $5 million deal with an option

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Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that the Dodgers have agreed to a contract with Jon Garland.  It’s a one year deal for $5 million with $3 million in potential bonuses and a vesting option for a second year if he reaches 190 innings. Given Garland’s durability, he’s probably a safe bet to reach the option benchmark. It’s unclear what will trigger the bonuses.

Garland is probably best described as an innings eater. Yes, he was 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA last season, but that was in the best pitcher’s park in baseball.  He’ll still be pitching in a good pitchers’ park, but not quite as good. He also was pretty hit lucky last year, and he could see his luck decrease a bit going forward.  All of that said, the Dodgers would have killed for that kind of dependable production in the rotation last season, and unless this is a massive overpay, it’s probably a pretty good signing for L.A.

It’s also great for the Padres, by the way, because with Garland cashing in on his one year in Petco, you can bet that San Diego will only continue to be a place where starters will go cheap in order to build up their value.  If the Padres are smart, they can really play that to their advantage.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.