Dodgers sign Jon Garland for $5M
The winter meetings are still a week away, but already the Los Angeles Dodgers have solidified their starting rotation. The club signed right-hander Jon Garland to a one-year contract with a base salary of $5 million on Friday.
Garland will be the Dodgers' fifth starter, giving them five pitchers who each won 10 or more games last season.
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Garland, 31, will also be eligible to earn up to $3 million in performance-based incentives this season. The contract includes an $8 million club option for 2012, which would vest if he pitches more than 190 innings in 2011.
This will be Garland's second stint with the Dodgers. He went 3-2 with a 2.72 ERA over six starts in 2009 after he was acquired at the Aug. 31 waiver deadline from Arizona in exchange for infielder Tony Abreu.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to come back to L.A.," Garland said. "It's a ballpark that plays to my style of pitching.
"I'm not one to like jumping teams and year to year be in different places, so coming back to a clubhouse I've been in is exciting to me."
Since the start of the 2002 season, the Valencia, Calif., native, who attended nearby Kennedy High of Granada Hills, ranks fifth among all big league pitchers with 292 games started, eighth with 121 wins and ninth with 1,842 2/3 innings pitched.
"We're very pleased to have Jon join this group and give us five very strong starters going into spring training," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement released by the team. "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."
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Last season he was the Opening Day starter for San Diego and set career-best marks with a 3.47 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 33 starts with the Padres. He is primarily known as an innings-eater, having averaged more than 32 starts and 200 innings in each of his nine full big league seasons. Garland is 131-114 with a 4.32 ERA in his 11-year career.
The Dodgers' starting five for the 2011 season -- Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly and Garland -- had a cumulative 2010 ERA of 3.39 (371 ER/986.0 IP) and a .234 opponents' batting average (857-for-3663) would have led all major league starting rotations.
Colletti indicated the Dodgers could make more moves to fill out the roster.
"I think we need another bat and another relief pitcher, and figure out the catching situation," he said.
Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Dodgers blogger Jon Weisman contributed to this report.