Ross Ohlendorf is a major-league veteran who signed a minor-league contract with the Boston Red Sox over the offseason. As is the norm, Ohlendorf's contract came with an opt-out clause, which Ohlendorf recently exercised. Ohlendorf was a free agent, very briefly, and now he is a free agent no longer.
Why? Because he's signed a major-league contract with the San Diego Padres, of course.
#Padres announce they signed RHP Ross Ohlendorf to a major league contract and designated RHP Matt Palmer for assignment.— Sarah Trotto (@sarahtrotto) June 4, 2012
Ohlendorf is 29, and he owns a career 87 ERA+ in the majors. He missed a lot of time in 2011 with a shoulder injury, and in triple-A in 2012, he posted an ERA of 4.61. Ross Ohlendorf is not a particularly appealing gamble. But consider that the Padres were recently giving starts to Jeff Suppan. Consider that the Padres have a terrible record and have Cory Luebke, Dustin Moseley, Micah Owings, Tim Stauffer, and Joe Wieland on the disabled list.
The Padres are at a point where they just need starters, any starters, to eat innings. Ohlendorf is at a point where he just wants to re-establish some sort of value. Where better than Petco Park? This is to be a symbiotic relationship. Ohlendorf will throw the innings the Padres need, and in return, Ohlendorf will be given the chance to post an artificially low ERA. In time, the two parties will split, but as much as this seems mutually selfish, aren't all contracts mutually selfish? In this case, it's just more obvious than usual.
Turns out Ohlendorf will join the bullpen, not the rotation. Well then!