I am going to have to admit, I didn’t see this signing coming at all.
I thought if Jon Garland was going to sign with a team over the Thanksgiving weekend, it would have been with the Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres or even the New York Mets. I didn’t see him signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers at all, but he did.
The Dodgers signed Garland to a one-year, $5 million contract with an option for 2012. The 2012 option kicks in for $8 million if Garland pitches over 190 innings in 2011.
Those of you who have followed this site on a consistent basis know that I have always liked Garland. Last offseason, I had him as the best low-risk, high-reward pitcher in my free agent primer, and all he did was sign with the Padres and produce a 3.47 ERA, 6.1 K’s/9 (a career high) and 52 percent groundball percentage (fifth in the National League).
The reason I was surprised he signed with the Dodgers is because LA already had four quality starters in their rotation. They re-signed Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda to go along with Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley.
The Dodgers really didn’t need Garland, but now with him, they have perhaps the deepest rotation in the NL. Other teams like the Philadelphia Phillies have the names at the top, but don’t have the depth at the bottom.
Garland isn’t a sexy name and his peripherals clearly don’t wow anyone, but he always gets the job done, eats a ton of innings and there won’t be too many fifth starters who will be as reliable as Garland. Plus, on top of that, the Dodgers stole him from division rivals San Diego and Colorado.
At just $5 million, Garland is a nice little signing for the Dodgers.
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