Nationals, Pirates, O’s interested in lefty Jorge De La Rosa

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The market for left-hander Jorge De La Rosa is heating up.

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Nationals, Pirates and Orioles have been the most aggressive suitors thus far and other teams are expected to join the fray.

The Nats have been on the hunt for a reliable long-term starter since their move to the nation’s capital and have shown a willingness to offer large free agent contracts in the past.

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick says that Washington GM Mike Rizzo met with De La Rosa’s agent down in Orlando, Florida this week and it seems like the two sides have mutual interest.  Rizzo has also been in touch with the representatives for Cliff Lee, but that still looks like a two-team race between the Rangers and Yankees.

Thought of as this offseason’s second-most valuable free agent starter, De La Rosa is likely to cash in despite the pedestrian 4.22 ERA and 1.33 WHIP that he registered over 122 2/3 frames for the Rockies this past season.

The Pirates have reportedly made him their primary offseason target and the O’s boast enough financial resources to strike a deal.

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.