The Los Angeles Dodgers today finalized their one-year contract with Vicente Padilla, bringing back the pitcher for a dual role in 2011. "Vicente’s flexibility and willingness to be in whatever role we may need him in was very important to us," said General Manager Ned Colletti. "We believe he is capable of filling practically any role on our staff and we are very glad to have him back." The contract calls for a $2 million base salary with a series of performance incentives, up to $8 million via starting and up to $6 million in relief incentives, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
Padilla was picked up by the Dodgers in August 2009 after being released by the Rangers. He pitched well down the stretch, and even won two playoff games that fall for the Dodgers. He returned on a one-year, $5.025 million deal in 2010. Padilla pitched well, going 6-5 with a 4.07 ERA, but was limited to 95 innings, placed on the disabled list two times for an irritated radial nerve in his right forearm and a bulging disc in his neck, respectively.
The Dodgers have already signed three starting pitchers this offseason, giving them five established starters in Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, and Jon Garland. Padilla is expected to have a hybrid role, pitching both in short stints out of the bullpen and occasional spot starts. Padilla has made just one relief appearance in his last nine seasons, starting 237 of his last 238 games.
The signing of Padilla brings the Dodgers' 40-man roster to 38 players, although that number will rise to 40 once the contracts of outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. and catcher Dioner Navarro are finalized.
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