GM: White Sox don't have the money for Figgins

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For years now the White Sox have been linked to Chone Figgins via various trade rumors, but now that he’s a free agent general manager Ken Williams made it clear yesterday that he won’t be pursuing the speedy infielder, saying: “We don’t have that kind of money.”
Williams’ sudden lack of interest in Figgins is especially interesting given that he’d just finished talking about the White Sox’s need for “that ideal leadoff guy” and previously indicated that the team wouldn’t be re-signing Scott Podsednik.
However, the Chicago Sun-Times notes that Podsednik may have revised his demands after Williams scoffed at his initial asking price, perhaps opening the door for a return to Chicago. Podsednik hit .304/.353/.412 with 30 steals and 75 runs in 132 games after joining the White Sox on May 1, but hit just .243/.299/.369 in 2007 and .253/.322/.333 in 2008. By comparison, Figgins hit .298/.395/.393 with 42 steals and 114 runs this season and has batted .291/.363/.388 for his career.
There’s no doubt that Figgins is far superior to Podsednik as a leadoff man and the White Sox could clear room for him at third base by playing the recently acquired Mark Teahen in right field, which would also improve their defense. Payroll restraints may simply make that impossible, but it’s also worth noting that Figgins qualified as a Type A free agent in the rankings released yesterday and thus may have fewer suitors now that teams would relinquish their first-round pick for signing him.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.