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Dodgers sign pitcher Tim Redding, but still no answer to left-handed reliever need

January 3, 2011 |  3:50 pm

The Dodgers signed another pitcher Monday.

Nope, he is not left-handed. He’s not even a reliever, really.

It’s Tim Redding, who turns 33 in February, a journeyman who last pitched in the majors with the New York Mets in 2009.

This is one of those take-a-flier signings; little risk, possible reward, some insurance. The Dodgers signed him to a minor-league contract with an invite to their major-league camp. The Dodgers made a similar deal earlier with Dana Eveland, who’s at least left-handed.

The Dodgers' bullpen remains devoid of a second left-hander after Hong Chih-Kuo, and they are in serious need of a situational lefty.

Left-handed, free-agent relievers are in short supply, and a wholly unimpressive group (ex-Dodgers Joe Beimel, Will Ohman, Dennys Reyes, or 40-year-old Ron Mahay). Unless you want to count ex-Angel Brian Fuentes, 35, who still wants closer money and years.

Time, though, is beginning to run out.

The main in-house candidate is probably Scott Elbert, who mysteriously left triple-A Albuquerque last season. Despite an encouraging performance in the Arizona Fall League, it would be chancy to count on someone who has mostly been a starter and missed half of last season for unexplained reasons.

So for now, the Dodgers are adding Redding, who pitched last season in the minors for the New York Yankees and Colorado Rockies. In August he was released to pitch in South Korea.

Redding has mostly been a starter during his eight-year career, going 37-57 with a 4.95 earned-run average while pitching for five teams. He looks like safety-value material, headed to Albuquerque and waiting to see if injuries befall the Dodgers’ rotation.

Meanwhile, the search for another left-handed reliever goes on, unpromising as it may be.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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