Watching closer Kenley Jansen move across the Dodgers clubhouse on crutches, Dustin McGowan shook his head.
“It happens to everybody,” McGowan said. “It happened a lot to me.”
McGowan, a 32-year-old right-handed reliever who signed a one-year contract Monday, has a particularly lengthy medical history that includes three shoulder operations, a knee operation, an elbow operation, a foot tissue injury, a side muscle strain and diabetes.
Others on the team share similar stories.
Two days before the Dodgers signed McGowan, they signed Brandon Beachy, who is recovering from a second elbow ligament-replacement surgery. Brandon McCarthy has a history of shoulder problems. Brett Anderson is 3 1/2 years removed from an elbow operation and is recovering from back surgery. Nonroster left-hander Erik Bedard has undergone three shoulder operations.
General Manager Farhan Zaidi said the Dodgers are not targeting injury-prone players.
“As far as medical goes, it’s just a case-by-case basis,” Zaidi said.
In the case of McGowan, the Dodgers were encouraged by how he was healthy for all of last season. McGowan pitched in 53 games for the Toronto Blue Jays, including eight starts. He had a 4.13 earned-run average.
McGowan was a starter in 2007 and 2008, but now views himself as a reliever.
“Starting is in the past for me,” he said. “I gave it a shot last year one more time. It didn’t work out. For me, after going through all the surgeries, I had a hard time recovering.”
McGowan’s deal is guaranteed for the major league minimum salary of $507,500. He will earn an additional $1 million if he is on the major league roster.
On the mend
Jansen, who underwent a foot operation last week to remove a growth, reported to camp. The closer is expected to sit out the first month of the regular season.
Jansen said he considered pitching through the discomfort in his foot, but not for long.
“We all think about it,” he said. “At the same time, you have to see what’s good for you and your career. I’d rather remove it now so I can be 100%.”
Considering he is expected to be sidelined for eight to 12 weeks, Jansen was grateful the problem was discovered before the start of spring training.
“Even in April, if this happened, I would be missing most of the season,” he said.
The Dodgers never made a formal contract offer to Cuban infield prospect Yoan Moncada, Zaidi said.
“We talked in very general terms,” Zaidi said.
Moncada agreed to a deal with the Boston Red Sox that will pay him a $31.5-million bonus, according to multiple reports.
The Dodgers were reluctant to make a significant push for Moncada because of the penalties for signing an international amateur player to such a lucrative deal, chief among them the inability for two years to sign another such player for more than $300,000.
Andre Ethier and Jimmy Rollins reported to camp, two days before position players are required to be at Camelback Ranch. … Zack Greinke (elbow injection) and Joel Peralta (shoulder) have resumed throwing.