Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eric Milton and the Dodgers

In the Transaction Report from two days ago, we noted that the Dodgers had signed a bunch of retread pitchers to minor-league deals. Then I added a mocking comment:

Los Angeles Dodgers: Agreed to terms with pitchers Jeff Weaver, Shawn Estes, Ronald Belisario, Charlie Haeger and Tanyon Sturtze on minor league deals. Eric Milton wasn't available.

Hey, the Dodgers are signing a bunch of guys who can't get Tommy Lasorda out, but at least they didn't sign Eric Milton!

But life, as they say, is stranger than fiction. Today comes a report that the Dodgers are close to a deal with ... Eric Milton.

Milton is now 33 years old. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2007, when in six games with the Reds his ERA was 5.17. He then underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery and spent last year rehabbing in the Yankees' farm system. Late in the season, he got in six starts at Triple-A, going 0-4 with a 5.17 ERA.

Dodger Stadium can make bad pitchers look only below average; below average pitchers look decent; decent pitchers look good; good pitchers look very good; very good pitchers look great. But it can't do anything for Eric Milton.

On the other hand, the Dodgers are only signing these ghosts to minor-league deals, so no harm, no foul.