Russell Martin faces an uncertain future with the Dodgers

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Russell Martin has missed 45 games since suffering a season-ending hip injury in early August and so yesterday Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times chatted with the Dodgers catcher about his future.
Martin replied “of course” when asked if he wants to remain with the Dodgers, but then responded “I have to discuss that with my agent” when asked if he’d consider inking a 2011 contract before the December 12 deadline to tender arbitration.
By doing so Martin could avoid the risk of being non-tendered and the Dodgers could avoid having to give him a raise on his current $5 million salary via the arbitration process. “I don’t like to think ahead too much, you know?” Martin told Hernandez.
It’s tough to blame him too much for thinking a discounted, pre-arbitration deal with the Dodgers may not be a great decision, because while Martin’s production has dropped off in recent years and he’s now sidelined by a major injury it’s still difficult to imagine him not getting a multi-year contract as a free agent.
Or put another way, while his .249/.350/.330 production since the beginning of 2009 is disappointing and represents a huge dropoff from his 2006-2008 production it’s still above average for a catcher. Obviously the injury complicates his status quite a bit, but Hernandez reports that Martin is expected to avoid surgery and he’s still just 27 years old (albeit 27 years old with a ton of wear and tear).

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.