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Dodgers add second lefty to bullpen mix: Ron Mahay signs minor-league deal

February 3, 2011 |  6:53 pm

Left-handed relievers never die, they just go on to the next team.

Ron Mahay’s next team is now the Dodgers, who signed him Thursday to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.

Despite having more rings circling through him than a redwood, this is a pretty decent late signing for a team in dire need of a second left-hander for the bullpen.

Mahay, 39, appeared in 41 games last season for the Twins, ending the season with a 3.44 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.

Left-handers hit just .209 against him. For his career, lefties have batted .232.

And it’s been some career. The Dodgers will mark his ninth team in 15 seasons.

The Dodgers currently have only one left-hander in the bullpen, Hong-Chih Kuo, whose elbow is what you might call on the delicate side.

Signing Mahay to a minor-league deal is something of a no-lose deal. If the Dodgers decide to go with two lefties, Mahay would have to beat out Scott Elbert to make the team. Elbert missed more than half of last season with an undisclosed personal issue.

If Kuo ends up having to close, a second lefty would be essential. Even if he doesn’t and they start the season with just Kuo in the bullpen, it would be nice to have Mahay down in the minors.

Of course, if he or Elbert make the team, then some right-hander could become trade bait. All right-handed relievers close to the bubble are out of options and one of them would have to be squeezed out.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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