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Maddux glad to be back in a race

August 20, 2008|Dylan Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers added more than a pitcher to take the final spot in their rotation when they traded for Greg Maddux, Manager Joe Torre said.

"He's always available," Torre said of Maddux's willingness to share what he's learned over his 23 major league seasons.

Including Tuesday, the day Maddux's second midseason trade to the Dodgers in three years became official. The four-time Cy Young Award winner was chatting with 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw on the bench Tuesday night.

Maddux, 42, who cleared waivers this month, was acquired from the San Diego Padres for two players to be named. He will start for the Dodgers on Friday in Philadelphia, pushing back Kershaw's next turn in the rotation by a day.

Of how he went from a team that started the day 16 games out of first place to the co-leader in the National League West, Maddux said, "You never want to leave your team and your teammates, but it's nice being in a pennant race."

In addition to Maddux, the Dodgers received cash relief from the Padres, who agreed to pay for a majority of what remains of Maddux's one-year, $10-million contract. In exchange, the Padres will get to select two players from a list of five minor leaguers who aren't on the Dodgers' 40-man roster. The Padres must choose the players by Oct. 15; they will receive cash compensation if any or both of the players they want get seriously hurt and aren't able to be moved.

To clear a spot on the active roster for Maddux, the Dodgers optioned left-hander Eric Stults to triple-A Las Vegas. A place on the 40-man roster was opened by moving Scott Proctor from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day.

Asked if the Dodgers were the only team for which he was willing to waive his no-trade clause, Maddux replied, "Pretty much."

Maddux is 6-9 this season with a 3.99 earned-run average. He moved to the Dodgers on the day of the 2006 non-waiver trade deadline and went 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA with them to help them reach the playoffs.

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti acknowledged that the urgency to reacquire Maddux increased when Brad Penny went on the 15-day disabled list last week.

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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