Dodgers sign Paul Maholm to a $1.5 million Major League deal

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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.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?