Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks are talking to third baseman Mark Reynolds about a three-year extension that would buy out two of his three arbitration years. There are no hard numbers attached to the negotiations, but Piecoro does some back-of-the-envelope calculations which, reasonably in my mind, suggests that a three-year, $15 million deal may be in order.
Reynolds would be wise to get something for himself now. He’s a great player, but he’s old for a guy who still hasn’t reached arbitration — he turns 27 this season — so he’s never going to have a chance at a shoot-the-moon free agency. And even if he does make it out to the market in good shape one day, there are still a ton of teams who will be scared off by his strikeouts, thus making for a more limited market than his considerable skills might ordinarily dictate.
So take the money, continue raking, and then angle yourself for one big arbitration year, Mark, because there aren’t many guarantees for a guy over 30 who strikes out 200 times a year.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.