MLB notebook: Maholm, Dodgers may have deal

Atlanta Braves pitcher Paul Maholm throws to a Cleveland Indians batter in the first inning during...

Atlanta Braves pitcher Paul Maholm throws to a Cleveland Indians batter in the first inning during their MLB inter-league baseball game in Atlanta, Georgia August 28, 2013. (REUTERS/Tami Chappell)

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, Last Updated: 7:31 PM ET

The Los Angeles Dodgers appear to have agreed on a contract with free-agent left-hander Paul Maholm.

Multiple media outlets reported Saturday that Maholm has a locker set up in the clubhouse at the team's spring training complex in Arizona.

Maholm, 31, went 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA in 26 starts with the Atlanta Braves last year. He also missed time with wrist and elbow injuries.

Maholm may fit the bill for the Dodgers' need for a No. 5 starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren. Right-handers Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are recovering from injuries.

Dodgers' pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Saturday.

Johan Santana throws off mound

Free-agent left-hander Johan Santana threw off a mound Friday for the first time since recovering from surgery to repair a re-tear of the anterior capsule muscle in his left shoulder.

Santana, winner of two Cy Young Awards, last pitched in 2012. He is attempting a comeback.

"Just want to let you guys know that I started throwing off the mound this week, and I feel great!!! One step closer!!! Believe it!!!" Santana wrote on Twitter.

There were reports in December that he was close to signing a minor-league deal. Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan expressed some interest but said he did not expect Santana to be ready to pitch until midseason.

Santana had the first surgery in 2010 and missed the 2011 season. He pitched 117 innings in 2012 before getting shut down. He had the second operation last April.

Santana is 139-78 with a 3.20 ERA with 1,988 strikeouts and 567 walks in 2,025 2/3 innings over a 12-year career with the Twins and New York Mets.

Hunter expected to close for Orioles

Baltimore Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter is expected to take over as the team's closer, according to MLB.com.

The Orioles originally swapped closers with the Oakland A's when they traded Jim Johnson in early December for Grant Balfour and agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Australian. However, the Orioles called off the signing because they had concerns about the health of Balfour's arm. Balfour eventually signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Baltimore then honed in on free agent Fernando Rodney, but he ended up signing with the Seattle Mariners.

Hunter, a former starter, pitched out of the Orioles' bullpen last season. He went 6-5 with a 2.81 ERA, 68 strikeouts, 14 walks and four saves in 86 1/3 innings.

The 27-year-old is 39-29 with a 4.48 ERA in 555 2/3 innings over his major-league career with the Texas Rangers (2008 to 2010) and Orioles.

Mets' Harvey hopes to throw in two weeks

New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is not expected to pitch this season because he is recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he told the New York Post that he plans to start throwing Feb. 22.

"They said I should be able to start throwing four months after the surgery and that's Feb. 22, and I haven't had any setbacks," Harvey said Thursday. "I can't wait. Even if it's 10 feet, I just want to pick up a ball. As if right now, I don't see why I wouldn't be able to do that."

Harvey also said Friday, in an interview with WFAN, that his rehab is going "really smoothly" since his Oct. 22 surgery and that he recently resumed weight training. He plans to report to spring training on Feb. 15 with the Mets' other pitchers and catchers.

Harvey hopes to pitch before the end of the season, but MetsBlog.com reported general manager Sandy Alderson told season-ticket holders Thursday that it is unlikely he will pitch this year, even if the Mets are in a pennant race. Recovery time from Tommy John surgery is usually 12 to 15 months.

Harvey, 24, went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts before the elbow injury ended his season. He started last year's All-Star game in New York.

 


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