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Dodgers roll the dice on pitcher Brandon Beachy

first_imgGLENDALE, Ariz. >> Brandon Beachy hasn’t pitched an inning in the major leagues since 2013. The last two years, he’s had two ligaments grafted into his right elbow. Yet the Dodgers are willing to bet decent money that he’ll contribute to their starting rotation in the second half of this season and possibly beyond.Beachy’s contract became official Saturday, as the former Atlanta Braves pitcher signed a one-year deal with an option for 2016 that’s heavy on incentives.“To be able to contribute to that would be something I’ve dreamt of my whole life,” he said. “Just a great fit all-around.”Beachy gets $2.75 million guaranteed. The Dodgers will have until five days after the season to exercise his 2016 option, or they can elect to buy out his contract for $250,000 if he pitches at least 10 innings this year. If his option is renewed, the Dodgers will pay Beachy a base salary of $3 million in 2016. His salary will escalate by $500,000 after he makes one, five, 10, 15, 18 and 21 starts ‑ up to a maximum of $3 million. Beachy can also make another $2 million in bonuses that could bring his total 2016 salary to $8 million.Beachy will begin the regular season on the disabled list and can be optioned to the minors, giving the Dodgers plenty of flexibility to move him into the rotation as needed.Once he’s healthy, Beachy could prove to be a bargain.The 28-year-old right-hander was leading the majors with a 2.00 ERA and a .171 opponents’ batting average when he tore the UCL in his right elbow in June 2012. He underwent Tommy John surgery on June 21 and returned to make five starts in 2013.A second surgery was performed in September 2013 to remove bone chips from Beachy’s right elbow. Beachy’s 2014 season ended early when he underwent a second Tommy John procedure in spring training. “It’s been very frustrating,” he said. “It’s not a fun process. … It’s definitely a test of patience, perseverance. Going through it the second time was harder mentally. Now it all feels worth it at this point. It’s going to feel even more so that way a few months from now.”Currently, Beachy is throwing from flat ground up to 105 feet. The Dodgers estimate that he will be pitching in competitive games by the All-Star break.“By the time he’s ramping up, our starting pitching depth might not look like it does now,” general manager Farhan Zaidi said.Beachy’s agent, Rob Martin, said that eight teams offered guaranteed major-league deals this offseason; four were no worse than playoff contenders last season.Besides a competitive financial offer, the Dodgers showed a special level of concern for his rehabilitation process. Team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed Beachy’s second Tommy John surgery. (Dr. James Andrews performed the first.) Dodgers senior advisor Pat Corrales met Beachy in December and watched him throw in the Atlanta area. A subsequent meeting among Beachy, ElAttrache and Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte may have helped seal the deal.“I think that amount of effort by the Dodgers put some delivery behind the lip service,” Martin said.Martin said that Beachy could return as early as May. The pitcher doesn’t plan to rush.“I’m definitely going a more conservative route this time,” Beachy said. “Not to say that the first route was wrong. This is my last bullet. I’m going to make sure I cross my Ts and dot my Is and make sure I’ve done everything properly, that I can look back and not have to second-guess anything.”To make room for Beachy on the 40-man roster, pitcher Chris Withrow was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Withrow had back surgery in December of last year and Tommy John surgery in June.Als7oPitcher Zack Greinke received something the team called a “lubricating injection” in his right elbow Thursday. He’s expected to be back on a normal routine in a few days. … Julio Urias was among several pitchers in camp who threw his first bullpen of the spring. A.J. Ellis caught, while Dodgers president Andrew Friedman and assistant general manager Josh Byrnes both watched the 18-year-old left-hander. … Right-hander Joel Peralta said he’s been dealing with discomfort in his throwing shoulder. He plans to play catch on flat ground today. … Withrow has been cleared to throw lightly from his knees. … Adrian Gonzalez, Juan Uribe, Darwin Barney and Scott Van Slyke all arrived at camp ahead of Wednesday’s mandatory report date for position players. … Manager Don Mattingly said right-hander Carlos Frias will be working on a starter’s throwing program after finishing last season as a reliever.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more