From Eric Stephen at SB Nation’s True Blue LA:
GLENDALE — Dodgers relief pitcher Scott Elbert had his appendix removed on January 28, delaying his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
“It didn’t burst, but it was going to,” Elbert said. “It was hurting for a couple days and I didn’t know what it was, I thought it was the flu virus.”
Elbert was already expected to miss the first two months of the 2014 season for elbow rehab, and this appendectomy might tack on another few weeks.
The 28-year-old left-hander posted an impressive 2.32 ERA and 8.6 K/9 in 90 appearances for the Dodgers between 2011-2012, but injuries have been a near-constant frustration for him in recent years. Elbert was the 17th overall pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft out of Seneca High School near Joplin, Missouri.
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.
From Eric Stephen of True Blue LA comes word that Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert needs Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his left elbow to repair a complete UCL tear. He is done for the rest of the season and will struggle to return before July 2014.
Elbert has been dealing with elbow problems since last August and even had a pair of minor surgeries this offseason. They obviously did not do the trick.
The 27-year-old southpaw has a 3.61 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 92/41 K/BB ratio in 92 1/3 career major league innings. He was a first-round pick of the Dodgers (17th overall) in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dodgers left-hander Scott Elbert underwent a “left elbow arthroscopy” on Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles. This is Elbert’s second elbow surgery in the last four months. He will require a six-week rehab and is doubtful to be ready for Opening Day.
Elbert posted a superb 2.20 ERA in 43 appearances last season for the Dodgers. The 27-year-old owns a 3.61 career ERA in 92 1/3 total big league innings.
The Dodgers — intimately aware of Elbert’s lingering elbow problems — signed lefty reliever J.P. Howell to a one-year, $2.85 million free agent contract earlier this month.
UPDATE: Olney clarifies that the deal is worth $2.85 million plus incentives.
9:08 PM: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the deal is done. Howell will make a $3 million base salary in 2013 and could earn more in performance bonuses.
8:54 PM: The Dodgers aren’t done spending yet. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the club is moving toward a one-year agreement with left-handed reliever J.P. Howell. Terms aren’t yet available, as the deal hasn’t been finalized.
Howell, who turns 30 in April, posted a 3.04 ERA and 42/22 K/BB ratio over 50 1/3 innings last season with the Rays. He has held left-handed batters to a .241/.323/.351 batting line and a .675 OPS during his career. The Nationals have also been linked to him this offseason.
The Dodgers watched Randy Choate leave for a three-year, $7.5 million contract with the Cardinals earlier this winter, so if signed, Howell will give the club a second left-handed reliever to go along with Scott Elbert.