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Reds sign Paul Maholm to a minor league deal

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That's fine.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

From C. Trent, via John Heyman, by way of the waning offseason, the Reds have brought in lefty Paul Maholm on a minor league deal. Last season, Maholm signed a $1.5M deal with the Dodgers, but was limited to just over 70 innings. He pitched in and out of the bullpen as a swingman until August, when he tore his ACL and was forced to undergo surgery.

This move follows a pattern in which Walt tries to replace Latos and Simon by volume. But Maholm figures to be well down the depth chart, especially if Tony Cingrani is healthy.

As tempting as a name mash-up with David Holmberg might be, Maholm is probably better suited for the bullpen. If fully healthy, he could have a role there as long-man or possibly as fill-in for Sean Marshall (who is probably not fully healthy) or Manny Parra.  The upside of stocking up on middling starters is netting a few key bullpen pieces.

If he winds up in the bullpen, he'd be following in the footsteps of fellow lefty and former Pirates rotation mate, Zack Duke. Duke converted full time to relief duties with the Reds at around the same time in his career and it's worked out swimmingly for him.