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Dodgers officially sign Vicente Padilla to a one-year contract

And then there were six.

Or what I like to call, "Learning From Mistakes."

Last spring the Dodgers went to camp with only four starting pitchers. They had a list of about 10 who were supposedly in contention for that fifth spot.

Only in the spring, no one truly claimed the job. It was a mishmash of pitchers too old, too young or just too ordinary.

So they picked knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, which had a certain logic, but he became an absolute disaster. As in 0-4 with a 9.78 earned-run average in six starts.

Whatever the team’s shortcomings this spring, however, it won’t be for lack of starting pitchers. General Manager Ned Colletti locked up his rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda and Jon Garland before the winter meetings.

And now they’ve added an insurance starter.

The Dodgers signed Vicente Padilla to a one-year contract Thursday night with a $2-million guarantee and a split tier of incentives, based on both starting and relieving.

Padilla, the Dodgers’ opening-day starter last year, will be their jack-of-all-trades right-hander next season. He’ll begin the season as the long reliever but will be the first to throw in a spot start. And if Jonathan Broxtonfalters, Colletti has indicated he would even consider using him in a closing role.

"Vicente’s flexibility and willingness to be in whatever role we may need him in was very important to us," Colletti said in a team release. "We believe he is capable of filling practically any role on our staff and we are very glad to have him back."

Padilla, 33, went 6-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 16 starts last season. He spent two stints on the disabled list with neck and elbow injuries, but he was impressive when he was sound.

During one seven-game stretch, he went 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA. At Dodger Stadium, he went 4-1 with a 1.61 ERA.

And since Lilly, Hiroki and Garland are all in their 30s, a proven, extra starter only makes sense.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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For all their very public private problems, the McCourts have been good stewards of the Dodgers.

In his last decade, Peter O'Malley oversaw a decline in the Dodgers and the Stadium. Fox was a period of sideways movement. The McCourts have had the Dodgers in playoffs, constantly try to build a contender, and have spent a lot of money keeping up Chavez Ravine.

I don't care if they do the pool boy and visit swamis. I care about the team. Yeah, we had a bad year - more related to injuries and off years from good players (Ethier, Kemp) than anything else. This year they have built a deep pitching staff, and I presume they will go get a hitter or two as well. I assume that Either and Kemp will be better. And next year will be a lot better.

The McCourts private idiocy has blinded people to their pretty solid stewardship of the Dodgers.

I'll bet you a buck and a quarter he's not playing for LA come final two weeks of September - trade, injury, quits because he's not starting, clubhouse disaster, whatever you want to have for a reason, he won't be a factor in the pennant race.

Pipe dream same as 10 pitchers to find a fifth starter last year. A closer? Seriously?

If it works out, great, I'd love to be wrong. Dodgers just need to win. But its got the makings of another Flanders Failing.

This guy can pitch! This is a bargain for the Dodgers.

Such a good signing for so many reasons. It puts pressure on Garland to duplicate last years turn while providing an immediate quak. mid. rotation start at any time when needed. I just hope Donny doesn't get pressured into switching his duties with Garland if Garland has a slow start because Garland won't do well out of the pen. And to Mr. Daniels, the McCourt stewardship is a carefully manicured charade. The improvements made to the stadium were payed for by the fans as prices have risen dramatically for everything on site. Some as much 100% or better. Even Murdoch kept the O'Malley tradition affordable family outings. Wasn't even 10yrs ago dodgerdogs were 3.50. And the parking lot is despicable. For decades we enjoyed the cheapest and most democratic parking in all of sports. Under ten bucks and first come first serve park where you want. Poor families shared the same convenience as everyone else. It was as if the O'Malley's were giving back to the city what the stole from the families of Chavez Ravine so long ago, and make no mistake they forfeited millions of $$ over the last 20yrs they owned the club. Now Mcourt not only tripled parking prices from the time he bought the club, and created tiered parking so the rich park close to the stadium and the poor people park in the hills or in Hollywood, yet even more, he has turned the parking lot into a seperate company. These changes are made to stay maybe McCourt too even were he to sell the club, He could concievably hang on to the parking lot. We may never be rid of his "stewardship".

Also, the slight overall increase in money spent this winter is what every large market franchise is supposed to due and the early timing was carefully chosen to impress on the other owners at the winter meetings that the McCourts aren't going to turn the Dodgers into the pirates or the royals so there would be no talk of a forced sale even behind closed doors. Shrewd. Got to give Ned a nod though for getting the job done. If he signed Werth or Crawford(the two best bats on the market) we would have been screwed for years. Not as badly as with Schmidt or Jones but pretty bad. Werth just isn't Werth it and as good a player as Crawford is, he is another LHB and he can't carry a team. The money saved will be better spent locking up Kershaw and hopefully Bills(I think he'll prove worthy this year) and taking a shot on an impact bat next year.


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