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Good News For The Dodgers: Vicente Padilla Just Got Cheaper

While it is bad news for the Dodgers that Vicente Padilla was placed on the disabled list today with a bulging disk in his neck, it is not exactly devastating news, especially for a team that started today eight games out of the wild card race (and behind four teams). In fact, the Padilla news might end up being good news for the Dodgers.

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After this season, Padilla, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ted Lilly will all be free agents, leaving the Dodgers with two established starters — Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley — in their 2011 starting rotation. It is likely that the club will be in search of two, if not three veteran starters to fill out said rotation, which can be an expensive proposition.

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Padilla signed a one-year contract last winter for $5.025 million, and figured to command at least that much this winter. However, he did miss nearly two months earlier this season with an elbow injury, so his overall statistics this season won’t be flashy. While he is 6-4 with a 3.96 ERA, he has only made 15 starts and pitched 91 innings this season.

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Padilla probably has six or seven starts at most to pad his numbers, but overall it looks like he won’t be too expensive this offseason, should the Dodgers try to retain his services.