To create a roster spot, the Dodgers elected to place recently signed righthander Brandon Beachy on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from elbow surgery.
McGowan, who will turn 33 before the start of the 2015 season, appeared in 53 games, making eight starts, for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound pitcher amassed a 4.17 ERA over 82 innings, earning a 5-3 record.
In seven seasons in Toronto in 2005-2008, 2011 and 2013-2014, McGowan compiled a 4.57 ERA with 392 strikeouts in 482.1 innings. He had a 25-27 record, starting 68 of his 158 games.
The Blue Jays selected McGowan in the first round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft.
McGowan has long battled injury concerns, and he was last a full-time starting pitcher in the majors during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, when he appeared in a combined 46 games for the Blue Jays.
- Brad Rowland