The Dodgers increased their already considerable pitching depth, agreeing to a $1.5 million, one-year contact with lefthander Paul Maholm. Before the deal was announced, Maholm was in the clubhouse Saturday when pitchers and catchers reported to the Arizona spring training facility. The 31-year-old was 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA in 26 starts for the Braves last season. The agreement increases the Dodgers’ projected luxury tax payroll to $253 million . . . The Cubs and starting righthander Jeff Samardzija avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.3 million deal. Samardzija asked for $6.2 million and was offered $2.7 million after going 8-13 with a 4.34 ERA . . . San Diego’s Andrew Cashner won and Cleveland’s Vinnie Pestano lost as pitchers split decisions in the first salary arbitration cases in two years. Cashner will make $2.4 million rather than the club’s offer of $2.27 million — the smallest gap among unsettled cases. Pestano got $975,000 instead of his request of $1.45 million.
Chudzinski takes position with Colts
The Indianapolis Colts hired former Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski as a special assistant to coach Chuck Pagano. Chudzinski was fired after a year at the helm of Cleveland. The two had previously worked together at the University of Miami . . . Denver assistant Jim Bob Cooter is expected to leave the Broncos to coach quarterbacks for the Detroit Lions, a person with knowledge of the situation said . . . Arkansas hired Robb Smith as defensive coordinator. Smith spent the past season as linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent the previous 14 years as a college assistant, including at Maine as assistant head coach.
Clippers’ Paul set for Sunday return
Clippers point guard Chris Paul will make his return Sunday against Philadelphia. Voted to start the All-Star Game, Paul has been out since separating his right shoulder while navigating a screen Jan. 3. The Clippers are 12-6 in the 18 games without Paul, who is averaging 19.6 points and 11.2 assists per game . . . Minnesota guard Kevin Martin will be sidelined indefinitely because of a broken left thumb. Martin was hurt in Friday night’s loss to New Orleans. He is averaging 19 points per game.
Italy puts US women in a Fed Cup hole
Karin Knapp and Camila Giorgi won the opening singles matches to give Italy a 2-0 lead over the United States in their Fed Cup quarterfinal in Cleveland. Knapp beat Christina McHale, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, in the first match, and Giorgi routed Madison Keys, 6-2, 6-1, in the second . . . Defending champion Marin Cilic reached the final of the Zagreb Indoors by defeating qualifier Bjorn Phau, 6-3, 6-4, in Croatia. Cilic, the Zagreb champion in 2009, 2010, and 2013, is from Croatia. Cilic will face Tommy Haas, who beat Daniel Evans, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 . . . Defending champion Richard Gasquet beat Jerzy Janowicz, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4) to set up a Open Sud de France final against Gael Monfils in Montpellier. Monfils beat Jarkko Nieminen, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
First BU lacrosse game ends in defeat
Boston University lost its first varsity men’s lacrosse game in school history, 17-6, to Mercer in Macon, Ga. Freshman Pat Myers scored two goals — including the program’s first — and had an assist. Freshman Christian Carson-Banister made five saves . . . Workers at a World Cup stadium in the jungle city of Manaus are threatening to go on strike to demand better conditions following a third recent construction-related death at the venue. A walkout could further delay the completion of the Arena da Amazonia months before the start of the tournament. A 55-year-old man was killed in an accident on Friday while disassembling a crane that was used to install the roof