It didn't get as much publicity as the David Wells signing, but the Dodgers' acquisition last week of Esteban Loaiza gives them a big boost in their drive for a playoff spot. In his first start for the Dodgers today, Loaiza pitched 7 innings, gave up just 3 runs, and walked only one batter in the team's 11-3 victory over the Cubs.
Part of what made the acquisition key for the Dodgers was the cost. While Loaiza has had his share of inconsistencies, getting a veteran pitcher with his resume off waivers for just over $7 million qualifies as a bargain in today's baseball world. Not only do the Dodgers have an extra horse for the stretch drive, but they have him locked up through next year, allowing the team to relax a bit during this offseason's inevitable free agent pitching spending spree.
Loaiza may or may not be enough to get the Dodgers into the postseason. But he sure will help.