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Cubs offer manager’s gig to Brewers’ Dale Sveum


The Cubs’ search for a new skipper could be over.

According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum was offered the vacant position at some point Wednesday night.

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona took himself out of the running on Wednesday morning and Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux has reportedly decided to return home to Texas.

Sveum, 47, has only managed for a couple of weeks on an interim basis, but he’s been in the coaching profession at the major league level since 2001 and is generally regarded as a thoughtful baseball strategist. He was also a candidate for Boston’s managerial opening, but they’re now expected to continue that search for another couple of weeks.

Look for Sveum to make a decision on the offer soon, probably within the next 12-24 hours.

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.