If these tweets from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times are any indication, it looks like the Dodgers and free agent left-hander Paul Maholm have reached agreement on a contract:
The move comes less than 24 hours after Bronson Arroyo, another Dodgers target, agreed to a two-year contract with the Diamondbacks. While Maholm isn’t a big name, he’ll be useful insurance for the starting rotation. Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Dan Haren are locked into the first four spots, but Josh Beckett is no sure thing after thoracic outlet surgery and Chad Billingsley likely won’t be ready to return from Tommy John surgery until May or June.
Maholm, 31, posted a 4.41 ERA and 105/47 K/BB ratio over 153 innings with the Braves last season.
UPDATE: Hernandez surmises that it will be a minor league deal. This has the makings of a potential bargain.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.