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Dodgers sign lefty starter Paul Maholm

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The Dodgers signed left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm to a one-year contract, the team announced today.

Moholm figures to battle for the fifth spot in a starting rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun Jin Ryu, and Dan Haren.

The eighth overall pick in the 2003, Maholm has started all but one of his 243 Major League games.

He broke into with Pittsburgh in 2005, going 3-1 with a 2.18 earned run average. The 6’2” lefty spent his first seven years with the Pirates posting a 53-73 mark.

After a one-year stop in Chicago, Maholm spent the last two seasons in Atlanta.

Los Angeles figures to have one of the best rotations in baseball. Cy Young Award winners Kershaw and Greinke anchor the rotation that features Korean import Hyun Jin Ryu.

Signed to a one-year $10 million contract with a vesting option for 2015, Dan Haren figures to be the fourth starter.

The final spot in the rotation is up for grabs with Josh Beckett as the front Runner. Beckett struggled from the start in 2013, going 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA before going on the disabled list and being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome.

Other candidates for the rotation include Matt Magill, Stephen Fife, Zach Lee, and Chad Billingsley.

Fife was the Dodgers’ most effective spot starter a year ago, going 4-4 in ten starts. The 24-year old Magill made six starts for Los Angeles last year while the 22-year old Lee remains one of the team’s top prospects.

Billingsley, who suffered season ending Tommy John surgery in April, isn’t due to return until a few months into the season.

To make room for Maholm on the 40-man roster, the club placed left-handed pitcher Scott Elbert on the 60-day disabled list.

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