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Twins approached Jason Kubel about contract extension


Last week Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the Twins offered impending free agent Michael Cuddyer a two-year, $16 million extension that he predictably turned down and now he says they “also spoke to Jason Kubel.”

Kubel is also an impending free agent and has expressed a desire to remain in Minnesota, but Christensen is unsure whether the Twins made him a concrete offer and says he “wants to hold off on negotiating until after the season” either way.

Minnesota may be facing an either/or decision with Cuddyer and Kubel, because re-signing both players to multi-year deals may not be feasible from a payroll standpoint or a roster standpoint. Kubel is younger and figures to be cheaper, but Cuddyer is adored by the entire organization and has been the team’s most valuable player this season.

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.