D.J. Carrasco tells Pirates he's "open to" trade to contender

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It’s not often you hear about a journeyman middle reliever asking to be traded, but Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that D.J. Carrasco met with Pirates general manager Neal Huntington last week “to express his openness to being traded to a contender.”
Kovacevic makes it clear that he “neither demanded a trade in the meeting nor said he would prefer one” and Carrasco clarified the situation by saying “it’s just something that I’m open to, playing for a contender.”
While the situation is an odd one, the Pirates would be smart to trade Carrasco regardless of what he’s “open to.” He’s a solid enough pitcher, posting a 3.88 ERA this season and a 3.84 ERA over the past three seasons, but he’s also 33 years old and was available for just a minor-league contract this offseason. If the Pirates can get a decent prospect or two for him six months after acquiring him for essentially nothing they’d be silly not to jump at it.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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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.