Anyone want an expensive, no-defense, washed-up slugger?

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I usually stay away from the “so-and-so was put on waivers” and “so-and-so cleared waivers” stories because they’re pretty dog-bites-man.  Shocker: really expensive guys on non-contenders are placed on and clear waivers all the time.

But sometimes it’s worth looking at the examples of some to remind us of this.  Like today, when within a few minutes we got reports of both Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee clearing waivers.  They’re available to anyone who wants them, folks!

Of course Lee is owed $18 million next year and Soriano is owed north of that for the next three seasons — a fact which still boggles my mind — so that may explain why no one wanted them when they could have simply claimed them.  And also explains why it is exceedingly unlikely that either will be the subject of trade talks any time soon.

Word is that the Cubs will kick in many millions to offset Soriano’s salary, but really, even if it’s 95%, there are hardly any teams who need a guy like him. He’s essentially a DH now who can hit a few homers but doesn’t get on base enough to make him worth it.

So that’s waivers in a nutshell.  If anyone interesting, useful and movable is placed on waivers, we’ll first hear about it when the trade is announced, not when they clear.

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.