LOS ANGELES – Still maneuvering nearly three weeks after the trading deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who’d acquired Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake to lend heft to a thin batting order, acquired Greg Maddux from the San Diego Padres on Monday night for a player or two to be named, according to two baseball sources.
A San Diego Padres official said he expected the trade to be announced Tuesday.
If the Dodgers maintain a starting rotation that this week lost Brad Penny again to a sore shoulder, Maddux would pitch Saturday in Philadelphia.
According to a source familiar with the trade, the Dodgers will pay “a small portion” of the approximately $2.25 million owed Maddux over the season’s final month-and-a-half. In return, the Padres will choose at least one player from a list of five or six, none on the Dodgers’ major-league roster.
Maddux, who has 353 career wins, six for the Dodgers after the 2006 trading deadline, waived his no-trade clause to return to Los Angeles. In fact, the Dodgers were the only team to which Maddux would consider a trade, but the teams could not agree on a trade three weeks ago.
Tied atop the NL West with the Arizona Diamondbacks but chasing 20 seasons without a postseason series win, the Dodgers first revived an offense that missed injured shortstop Rafael Furcal and missed on free-agent bust Andruw Jones. Ramirez leads the National League with 21 RBIs in August, and Blake has 12 RBIs.
If he pitches as he has in his past four starts, Maddux, 42, will improve the NL’s best pitching staff. He won three of those starts and lost the other 1-0 on Friday against the Phillies.
He joins Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw in a rotation that has a 3.53 ERA in August, but needed stability in the fifth spot in the absence of Penny. Maybe they upped the ante after realizing Penny wouldn't be back.
“His last four starts have been outstanding,” said a National League scout. “There’s been nothing noticeably different, other than maybe sharpness and location. Really, with his stuff, the question is, is he on the black or on the plate?”
Maddux’s career ERA is 2.81 in August, 3.39 in September.