Dodgers sign Paul Maholm, plan to start Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in Australia

On Friday, the Arizona Diamondbacks opened training camp by signing veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo to a two-year contract. One day later, their heated division rivals — and opponents in the season opening series in Australia — the Los Angeles Dodgers, have matched that signing by adding left-hander Paul Maholm on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million plus incentives.

The fact the Dodgers are adding another starting pitcher to their rotation mix doesn’t come as a surprise. In fact, they were reported to be in on Arroyo right up until he inked his deal with Arizona. What was a surprise, however, is that a deal with Maholm was this far along. The first indication actually came when the doors to their clubhouse opened on Saturday morning.

Obviously the 31-year-old lefty ending up passing the physical without any issues, which is notable because he was hampered by back, wrist and elbow ailments late last season. Maholm finished the season 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA over 26 starts. For his career he’s 76-95 with a 4.28 ERA over nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and most recently the Atlanta Braves.

Like Arroyo, it's not a sexy signing, but Maholm provides solid insurance for a rotation that’s set at the top but questionable in the 4-5 positions. Obviously Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu are locked in. Dan Haren has been a little up and down the past couple seasons but will be penciled into the No. 4 spot initially. It gets even more unclear after that with Josh Beckett’s future up in the air following thoracic outlet surgery and Chad Billingsley’s return from Tommy John surgery not expected until May or June.

The door is open for Maholm to be an immediate contributor. If he provides stability to begin the season, the Dodgers may be content leaving a third left-hander in their rotation for the foreseeable future.

• Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke likely to start in Australia

Speaking of the Dodgers rotation, Dylan Hernandez of Los Angeles Time reports that every healthy starter in camp will be prepared as if they're pitching in the season opening series in Australia, but the early plan is for Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to get the call.

Arizona has yet to indicate who they will counter with.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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