Tigers deny Mets’ request to interview Al Avila for GM opening

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According to Jason Beck of MLB.com the Tigers have denied the Mets’ request to interview Al Avila as a potential general manager replacement for Omar Minaya.

Avila, who is currently Detroit’s assistant general manager under Dave Dombrowski, has a contract that allows the Tigers to deny such requests. Beck reports that the Tigers also denied the Mariners’ request to interview Avila two years ago, but have allowed him to interview for other GM jobs in the past.

Sandy Alderson is considered the heavy favorite to be New York’s next GM, so blocking the Mets from talking to Avila likely doesn’t really hurt his chances of actually landing the job. Beck notes that Avila “is happy in Detroit” and “has about as much authority as an assistant can have.”

Also of note is that Avila’s son, Alex Avila, is the Tigers’ backup catcher and hit .228/.316/.360 in 104 games as a 23-year-old this season.

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.