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Dodgers add their fifth starter with signing of right-hander Jon Garland [Updated]


And that’s called a five-man rotation.

The Dodgers are immediately better off than they were last season -- or even last spring, April, May, June or July -- after The Times’ Dylan Hernandez reported the signing Friday of right-hander Jon Garland to their rotation.

This is a return trip for Garland, who pitched briefly for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Diamondbacks Aug. 31, 2009.

Garland went 3-2 with a 2.72 ERA in six starts with the Dodgers, before then signing in the offseason with the Padres. Last year he went 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA for San Diego.

Unlike last season, when the Dodgers struggled to identify a fifth starter almost the entire year, they will now enter spring with a set rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda and Garland.

That’s pretty impressive as a group, and now allows General Manager Ned Colletti to focus on his team’s other needs -- namely adding a run-producing bat and fortifying a disappointing bullpen.

Garland, 31, went to Kennedy High School in Granada Hills. For his career, he is 131-114 with a 4.32 ERA. His 3.47 ERA last season was the lowest of his career. He won 18 games in consecutive seasons for the White Sox in 2005-06.

Terms of his contract with the Dodgers have yet to be announced.

Colletti went into the offseason assured of having only Kershaw and Billingsley in his 2011 rotation, but has now signed Lilly, Kuroda and Garland.

[UPDATED at 1:30 p.m.:] The Dodgers announced Garland had signed a one-year contract, with a club option for 2012. The option becomes vested if he pitches 190 innings next season.

"We’re very pleased to have Jon join this group and give us five very strong starters going into spring training,'' Colletti said in a statement. "We saw what Jon was capable of down the stretch in 2009 and again last year within our division. Year after year, he takes the ball 30-plus times and gives his team a chance to win every time out.''

[Updated at 4 p.m.] Garland signed for $5 million, with another $3 million available in performance-based incentives.

Including a $300,000 buyout, Garland made $5 million last season from the Padres. He turned down his side of a mutual option for 2011, passing on a guaranteed $6.75 million.

"I’m excited for the opportunity to come back to L.A.,'' Garland said. "I think it’s a ballpark that plays to my style of pitching. And I’m excited to be joining this staff. At the beginning of the offseason it was a little uncertain, but now it’s looking like a damn good staff.

"I feel like I have a lot to offer and this is the best place suited for me."

The Dodgers now have five starters who all won at least 10 games last season.

Colletti said he believes it is the club's best overall staff during his six seasons with the Dodgers.

"We had four of what you would consider guys with a history behind them, but I can’t recall having five that have the ability to make 30-plus starts and throwing as many innings,'' he said.

"We set out to improve our rotation. I think adding Jon kind of caps it off in a good way, with five guys capable of throwing 190-plus [innings], starting 30 games-plus and winning 10-plus."

Colletti said he would next focus on adding another bat, relief pitcher and determining the catching situation.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Jon Garland pitching for the Padres last season. Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (43)

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Wow. We now have the 2nd(at worst 5th)best regular season rotation in all of baseball! Unfortunately the best is still in the bay area and their lineup is still better but one more big signing of an impact rhb could change all that. Spend the money on the bat. We have already doubled the effectiveness of our bullpen by setting the rotation with innings eaters at the back end. We have a ligitimate shot of 7 plus inn. every start instead of 5-6 or less cutting the bullpen workload in half and that usually means sharper performance. With all this money we are spending maybe Jeter will want to come play second or third?

Great contract for a #5 starter. He is going to eat innings but is nothing special. He is durable. I never liked him as a top of the rotation guy but for a number 5 guy who will win you 12 games good contract and stay healthy It also allows Miller to get more seasoning at #5. This team is starting to look better and better. Now to address the bullpen. Lets hope that Elbert can take the next step and win that second LH reliever spot. If they add another reliever they can have some of the best pitching in the National League. Especially if Kershaw and Bills can take another step

I meant miller getting seasoning in AAA

This is a smart move and a good one. Great for Jon and the Dodgers!

Nice pitching staff, BUT, they are not going to win anything with a bunch of #3 starters. Other than MAYBE the Wild Card.

Frisco still has TWO "legitimate" number one starters, TWO!

Glad to have Jon back in dodger blue. Now it's time to go after some offense. With this signing, it makes me very optimistic for next season. So far Ned has made some really good moves. Lots of dealing this off season. Great job. Looking forward to 2011.

I'm happy with this rotation. I really like Garland and Lilly in the rotation. I always liked local players representing the team. Ned did a decent job here. This gives me some hope. Who would be the ace of the staff?

Who is "Miller"?

The Dodgers have a 23-year-old prospect named Aaron Miller, but he's barely pitched above A-ball.

Garland is horrible. Nice move, Ned.

its hard to understand what the dodgers are doing these days. as soon as we think mccourt will go on the cheap till the divorce gets settled(then be slightly cheaper) they sign another free agent?

Garland, another local guy that WANTS to play for the Dodgers.

Great acquisition.

crap signing...typical

Miller there first pick in the 2009 draft. He has thrown and gotten his feet wet in AA last year. He is about a year and a year and a half way

Crap signing? Get real fellows, a 5th starter who won 14 games last year with an ERA of under 4.00 is a plus. I'll take Garland over Zito any day of the week, and he'll be as effective at Dodger Stadium as he was in San Diego. Now we need a legitimate bat and another reliever. Who knows, maybe we'll be competitive next season?!

I think this is a wise signing - certainly better than 5 million for Padilla. Now they need some punch in the outfield.

Good move. We should never have let him go in the first place. Although this rotation won't be the 2010 Jints or the Braves of the 90's, it won't be the embarrassment it was last year. It'll also give both Kershaw and Billingsley a chance to mature by lessening the pressure.

I like this signing. Garland will make a very good No. 5 guy...Heck, I'd like him as a No. 4 guy. He's solid and knows what he's doing out there. He was good for the Padres last season and there's no reason to think he won't be effective here.

Nice Signing! Great Rotation. Middle inning reliever, left fielder and we are set. Go Blue!

So Far So Good... Mr. Colletti..... Now if only the money holds out long enough to pick up a bat and and a bullpen (sorry Broxton but in my mind that would include a real closer), we might actually have a reason beyond listening to Vinnie to tune in the games.

Who knows.. maybe the McDivorceCourts have figured out that regardless of who winds up owning the Dodgers they will both be better off if they are still actually a major league ball club when the dust settles.

Let's all cross our fingers!!!1

Getting Garland back is a step in the right direction, but unless the Dodgers can also clone Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale (RIP), it won't mean a thing! Funny thing about baseball, YOU HAVE TO SCORE MORE RUNS THAN THE OTHER TEAM TO WIN, and with the lineup we have right now, it's not going to happen that often! In other words, the Dodgers need to get some hitters!

@N.P.Krohn: 2nd best rotation in all of baseball???? The Phillies, Giants, Cubs, Red Sox, Angels. and Cardinals all have better rotations. Are they better than last season? Absolutely! But Billingsley is terribly inconsistent, Lilly's best seasons are behind him, and Garland will not come close to repeating his 2010 season. This rotation is marginal at best.

I want to know what Uncle Neddy saw in Jon Garland this winter that he didn't see from Jon Garland last winter.

Like others, I was wonder why Garland wasn't resigned last year. Well it's good to have him back. Hard to believe we're going into spring training with all 5 starting pitchers. When was the last time that happened?
Let's hope their health holds out and we'll have a winning season.

Good move Ned...good move. So how about Padilla to serve as that long reliever/6th starter that we desperately need?

Hey Jon Garland,

What Ned saw in you this winter compared to last winter was John Ely and Charlie Haeger.

You're part of a nice staff. But, with this offense, all five starters must throw shutouts every time for this team to have any chance of winning.

The Dodgers run support makes the Mariners run support for Felix Hernandez look like the '27 Yankees.

Smooth move, Ned. This guy will eat up innings, win half of his starts, and was an excellent choice. Now, if only they could find a new left-fielder, a new second baseman, and a new catcher.

I said it before and I will say it again. The Dodgers need to play this season as a complete team. In a sense, baseball is an individual sport but last season the Dodger players took that concept too far.

The only reason he was good last year was cuz he played for the Padres, which were terrific up until late August. Hopefully he hasn't fooled himself into thinking he's a good pitcher. He isn't clutch, just an innings eater. I predict his ERA to go to the mid to high 4's this season. Meanwhile, the bullpen will probably lose a handful of games that he might have won elsewhere. Yep, Garland is screwed now.

its funny how fans are stoked on this signing. we settle for crap as dodger fans,and its pathetic. bottom line is cliff lee is out there and we cant even talk to the guy? 1988 since last title,where is the sense of urgency? ned has got to show me more than this,divorce or not!

I really like the fact that at least the bottom of the rotation, and some if not all in the line-up, actually like to play specifically in LA, where many high-priced free agents did not, necessarily, and it showed. There does seem to be a concerted organizational effort to get people who want to play here, and show it, like Rod Barajas did last year, and who i hope returns for that reason.

I give Ned a Thanksgiving break, pending his next unbelievable turkey-brained move.

Disgraced Dodgers still without an ace, but now have 5 number 3 or below starters so McCrap doesn't have to shell out some real $$$ for a true ace. McCrap will still pay his lawyers & more mansions & continue to disgrace this organization. Nice rotation if playing for third place, especially with that punch & judy lineup. Jay Gibbons will be securing leftfield with a 38 year old 3rd baseman & a ghost for a 2nd baseman, & a powerless 1st baseman, & a hip replacement catcher. 2011 will be no better 2010, but run out & buy those tix so McCrap get aquire more houses & pay his attorneys for the next 2 years before this ownership/divorce thing is settled.

Colletti: "We set out to improve our rotation. I think adding Jon kind of caps it off in a good way"

- me thinks Ned mistakes treading water for progress and hamster wheel for reward. Now that alot of money that McCourt doe$n't have? has been spent on spinning his wheels, has LA moved any farther forward the path baseball success, really? I don't see it.

Oh sure, Garland (if he pitches in '11 like he did '10) might be an improvement over John Ely, but so too probably would Ron who played Tarzan the old 60's tv series. The upshot is a staff that lacked a #1 added a #5; in the parlance this is known as building up the bottom of the roster as it were.

Aft the lateral moves in RE-signing first Lilly & then Kuroda, we have signed a guy who we hope can do at least as well and hopefully better than Padilla, Ely, Monasterios, Haeger & the spot starters (am I forgetting anyone? Probably.) In his 2 years in the NL Garland is a .500 pitcher; last season he won 14 games while Padilla & Ely an combined 10 wins. That still leaves lost angeles 8 games behind the Champion Giants, 6 games astern the 2nd place Padres and nigh on neck and neck with the Rockies in a battle to stay out of 4th place.

Call me not so much giddy as underwhelmed; call NC a day year late and several empty dudger stadium seats (and rbi bats) $hort. Same rotation as '10 save for one found wanting, overpriced or something last year at this same time... not necessarily getting better, just definitely a year older.

Until/unless they prove otherwise, as we speak the dudgers in essence have the same pitching staff and even less bats. They have flipped any of several 5th starters for Garland while the offense (such as it was) of a Podsednik, a Barajas & even Ramirez are off the roster while Blake, Carroll, Gibbons and the rest are a year older. Positions LF, 3rd base, 2nd base and catcher are ? marks, and even ss and 1st base as well CF & RF are potentially fluid due to results from 2010.

You may call it po-tay-to as in upbeat, I call it po-tah-to as in bleak.

Maybe the 2011 dudgers will try emulate the '65-'66 Dodgers: latter stages 2010 they had just as much trouble scoring runs as the 1960's crew but did not made up for it despite better tho still insufficient hitting and via similar pitching that while good was not as good nor good enough. Not so much a matter six of one & half a dozen the other as an rbi (several) late and a (#1) pitcher (at minimum) short.

Compare your excitement & expectation level from pre-2010 season to yours same pre-2011 and with your hand placed on a Bible swear you believe we will be any better or even as good today as yester... then uncross your fingers.

Re: Ralph
You must be a cubs fan because the southsiders have one of the worst rotations in baseball. And while the cards are great up front the back two are so bad they don't enter into it. in the reg. season the best rotations are the ones that send the same guys out when their turn comes up and throw the most innings while allowing the least amount of damage. The bosox are loaded with big names and talent that will continue to get hurt and pitch inconsistantly. Same for the chisox. The gynts are clearly the best. patewy! While Halladay and Hamels are deadly the other 3 don't have near the track record in my mind. The A's are worth mentioning but too young. The braves are the best argument for 2nd best but i'm a 4th generation dodger fan and it says here the Dodger rotation will pitch more innings and give up less runs than any team in baseball that doesn't play home games in that miserable china basin.

Please note regular season. not post season. Without serious bat improvement we don't stand a chance in a playoff series against the phils, cards, bosox,yanks,chisox,rays etc. speaking of which as long as the rays don't trade Garza they have a better reg. season rotation than us too. But hey Koufaxfan, after Kershaw's leading the bigs in k's per 9inn. last year, and i believe the year before, don't you think he's earned the title "ace" and a little respect from us fans? there are only a few guys i'd rather have taking the hill opening day and there's a very good chance that in acouple of years there won't be anyone better.


We have a #1, his name's Kershaw. Have you failed to see how well he's pitched the last 2 years? Without all the blown saves, Kershaw wins 17-19 games and probably finishes higher in CY young voting. We don't need a #1 starter, we need a hitter now. Rotation is good. A little bullpen help and we've got a good chance for next year.


We agree to disagree. Kershaw has been the desperate attempt the dudgers to be able to state they have a #1. Alas, just because "well, everybody's got to be someplace" as comedian Myron Cohen said, does not equate with the pitcher this case performing as such. He's the best LA has, perhaps (and I'm not even 100% convinced of that).

Still young & already a bit more consistent than say a Billingsley, Kershaw is still not #1 starter consistent. You say we don't need one - I say we do unless embracing but another also-ran season of 'potential' suffices. Sorry, but I'm all plum potential tuckered out.

'Hoping' he'll become one is different than 'is'. As I stated another blog entry, Kershaw will have to win 20 games to but match the progress former Dodger Bill Singer an similar point. Bill was good, but never became a #1 here really. Clayton is a good pitcher but is neither a #1 to date or Sandy Koufax as some imagine him. I doubt he'll ever be Sandy.2 & he may or may not ever be a #1, but in the here & now is making progress & that is all it is sans the (over)hype.

'Without" and "probably" being the operatives your desire to make him into something he is not/has not been, every team, player and fan can play the 'if only' card... just change the team, player, fan, etc. and viola!, there you are.

This current staff, which is an replica of what finished 2010 sans the addition of Garland (be still my black heart) will 'not' be better the mere adding of "a" hitter, my opine. Still, as hope is why they play a new season aft each former so it may spring eternal, on with the show.

Thing is, aft 22 seasons wandering the baseball wilderness & I somehow 'not' being sufficiently buoyed current ownership nor on field team, summate by playing the part a good Missourian, say - 'Show Me', dudgers.

Best I can do is match the flickering dudger pulse my dissipating 53 year ardor same...

@N.P.Krohn -- 1st off, the Cubs play on the north-side -- and -- The Cubs led the NL in "quality starts" last season. Ted Lilly illustrated the Cubs demise last year: Great pitching, ZERO run support and a HORRIBLE bullpen. The Cubs rotation is VERY good -- Look at the starters IP and ERA -- Wins don't tell the full story about a starter.

You're absolutely right about the Cardinals being dominant at the front then falling off after Carpenter and Wainright -- Although I expect Lohse to turn things around and the Cards to sign another starter.

As for the Phillies, you obviously forgot about Roy Oswalt when you mentioned: "The other 3 don't have near the track record in my mind". Oswalt could be an ace on most teams as he was for Houston for so many years.

Lastly, you called it! I am a Cubs fan from the north side of Chicago. lol

Colletti isn't wrong when he says best starting staff in his six years. But when you look at what he's comparing to, he isn't saying much either. Last year he didn't even go get a 5th starter.

Garland and the rest of them are better than what we started with on opening day in Pittsburgh last year.

While there's more to be done, I would call this a positive for the club given all the considerations that are in the equation with money available, pool of pitchers to get, etc.

Admittedly, my thinking is clouded by how bad it could be and what we've seen.

You know im a big defender of Los Angeles fans. But some of you are idiots. Why would some of you people critique this sighning? He has a 3.47 era last year. He can pitch a good amount of innings. He has won as much as 18 games. He did good when he was with the Dodgers. And it's not like it's way to much money then. I mean some of you people just seem like bitter people who will do anything to critique Frank McCourt And Ned Colleti. I mean if you want to critique Joe Torre that's ok with me cus Torre did thing's as a Dodger's manager that annoyed me. And I think as a Dodger's manager Joe Torre was overated. But why keep critiquing Ned Colleti and Frank McCourt? There not that bad. There pretty good then here then here. I mean I think it's interesting how one person posts that we have one of the best rotation's in all of baseball and another one wrote something like how this is not a good sighning.

RE Ralph:Touche on Oswalt. Subconciously ignored his presence due to the Dodgers inability to trade for him or Lee 2yrs in a row. Even so at this stage he's not drasticly better than Kuroda or Bills(depending on who are 3 guy is) and Lilly and Garland are that much better than Blanton and whoever else they trot out their every fifth day and I still give us the edge overall in the regular season because of the beautiful ballpark we play in(not to mention it's dimensions). Went to wrigely for the first time this year and while it is beatiful I find it hard to believe that they have ever had a staff lead the majors in QS's. While you are clearly a knowlegeable fan Ralph, I'm gonna do some research on that one.

You were dead on Ralph the lovable losers did beat out the gynts by 1qs, but only a NORTHside sufferer would consider a rotation with Silva,Wells, and Gorzelany to be anywhere near the the top 5 in baseball. Lilly had a chunk of those QS's and Zambrano sealed the deal with the miracle finish finally figuring out how to pitch with a 90mph fastball instead of a 98mph fastball. In an unrelated note his AVG. was way down this year. The Cubbies are gonna have a hard time winning if he can't get it back to .300. Although his power numbers are still respectable, he doesn't take many walks and the baby bears are gonna need those hits if they want to get back in the race. LOL.

Ahh yes, I see McDork & Dread are aiming high with his expected 50-60 wins from this average, at best rotation - way to go Dread!

Way too much money for Kuroda, Garland is a .500 pitcher, & again, way too much money for Lilly as well.

They NEED to move head case Matt Shemp (!) for a quality arm in the rotation or a slugging 3B.

Of course, the poorly managed Dodgers won't even go after Carl Crawford, a true star in this league.

As I have repeatedly said, McDork & Dread are again shooting for the best back up team in baseball history!

And just what did Podsednik, Barajas & the others do for this team down the stretch ? Huh ?! That said, I would much rather have Rod behind the plate than wannabe Martin - just which one of the Dodger's brass that likes him so much ? He was meant to be, is, & always will be a bust!

As I told you all lst year, the same applies this year - get your hopes on high, only to be let down until thios owner either A, does what's best for this once great franchise & sell it to true baseball people & B, to get a quality GM - they still owe sweveral players salary this & next year & they no longer even play here -s weet deals Dread, ya lunatic!

Oh please Judge, MAKE Skank & Lamey McDork sell this team!

Bobby, he will never win 18 games again, he can eat up innings, but a 3.47 equates easily to over a 4.5 on this team as our Offense will not easily be confused with that of the Padres.

And for those woefully trying to defend McDork & Dread, try & defens why they paid 170 Million for ManSham, Pierre, Schmidt & A.Jones!

Let me reapt myself from last season:

ManSham - 45 Mil; A 50 game suspension for banned substances & not been the same since & he should not even be here, but for Dread being backed into his comfortable position, the corner, & letting ManSHam & Scott Boras dictate to him & not the other way around, re: this 2nd year of his contract!
Andrew Jones - 36 Mil; he got a few innings out of Jones for a fat, lazy, out of shape tub of goo OF who the year before batted .222 & had virtually no power!
Jason Schmit - 47 Mil; & the year before, on Dread's then team, the Giants, lost 4-5 MPH off his heater yet the, ahem, "GM" doesn't see that!
Juan Pierre - 42 Mil; now, I like this guy as he's hard working, never complains, first to get on the field, last to leave, etc. but when they then needed a slugger & Dread couldn't get it done, he is forced into a 42 Mil deal for an OF with no arm or power!

And tell me, what does he have to show for it, in the standings or in personnel? Yea, not a damn player or Ring due to them AND he is still paying 16 Mil or so gthis season to players who no longer wear Dodger Blue ! Oooh, shrewd moves, Heckle & Jeckle!


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