Brewers’ owner Mark Attansio just told the assembled Milwaukee beat writing brigade that the team is having ongoing “discussions” with Prince Fielder regarding a contract extension. No word if there have been offers exchanged or anything.
Not that anyone should fret if they’re not talking money yet. First contact was made on this subject during spring training, which is fairly unprecedented for a Boras client so far from free agency. The fact that anything is happening is unusual for him, which suggests to me that either Fielder is strongly urging his agent to talk to the Brewers because he wants to stay there, that Boras and Fielder are mindful of the potentially tough market for first basemen after the 2011 season, or both.
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.