Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com earlier today that he expects to discuss a contract extension with C.J. Wilson over the next several weeks.
Wilson made a sucessful transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation last season, compiling a 15-8 record along with a 3.35 ERA over 33 starts during the regular season. He also played a significant part in the franchise’s first ever World Series appearance, posting a 3.70 ERA over four postseason starts.
The 30-year-old left-hander agreed to a one-year, $7 million contract last month in order to avoid arbitration, but will be a free agent following the 2011 season. While there’s more of a sense of urgency to get a deal done with Wilson, Daniels also confirmed that the club has already held internal discussions about keeping other “core” players. Daniels didn’t go into specifics, but Morosi names Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus as possibilities.
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.