The Dodgers were successful in getting one of the free agents they targeted, signing lefty Randy Wolf to a 1-year, $5 million deal with incentives. This is Wolf's second stop in Dodger blue, having played for them already in an injury-shortened 2007 season.
Wolf was on a list of secondary free agent pitchers that the Dodgers decided to pursue, passing over higher priced hurlers like Sabathia and Burnett. Once John Garland signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, it was obvious that Wolf was the Dodgers' main target. Luckily for them, they got him.
The 2008 stats are quite revealing for Wolf. For the whole season between the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros, he was 12-12 with a 4.30 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, in addition to 162 K's in 190.1 IP. His splits between home and away are eye-opening. In 17 starts at home, he was 9-5, 2.98 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 86 K's in 99.2 IP. Pretty good stuff, right?
Then there's his road stats: 3-7, 5.76 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 76 K's in 90.2 IP. Uh, not so good.
Still, it's a good addition for a team that needed another reliable starter. The rotation will most likely go with Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kerhsaw, Hiroki Kuroda, and Wolf. That is if they want to split up the righties and lefties. The 5th starter, just like last Spring Training, will be determined.
So now the next question will be about his health. Remember, this is the same guy that made 18 starts with the Dodgers in '07 before being shut down with season-ending shoulder surgery. Will he be healthy now? That's always a hard question to answer, but he did make 33 starts last year, so his health would appear to be fine. Then again, they thought that with Jason Schmidt a couple years back...
But I'll stay positive on this one. Now that they've got their 4th starter, it's time to put this Manny issue to bed once and for all. Make a decision and live with it. If he's in, fantastic. If not, go get Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu and get ready for the season.