There was some speculation earlier that the Dodgers and Paul Maholm were close to a deal, and now it’s official. ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the Dodgers have signed the lefty to a one-year Major League deal worth $1.5 million. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that Maholm can up to as much as $6.5 million with incentives. Hernandez also reports that the Dodgers placed Scott Elbert on the 60-day disabled list to create room for Maholm on the 40-man roster.
Maholm was solid for the Braves last year, so it was odd that he went unsigned for this long. However, the negotiations for Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka slowed the market considerably, leaving prized arms like Matt Garza and Bronson Arroyo unsigned likely months longer than they otherwise would have been.
Maholm didn’t allow a run until the sixth inning of his fourth start of 2013. He also carried a 3.69 ERA through the end of June. However, he suffered a sprained left wrist shortly after the All-Star break, as well as elbow inflammation in early September, causing him to finish the season with a 4.41 ERA.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.