Early on this offseason Michael Cuddyer seemed all but certain to leave Minnesota, as the Phillies met with him in Philadelphia and several other contenders were linked to the veteran outfielder.
However, most of the rumors surrounding Cuddyer have quieted down of late and LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “agents now are speculating that Cuddyer will end up back with the Twins” and it may only require a two-year contract because the market for him has been less than expected.
Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com writes that re-signing Cuddyer remains the Twins’ focus and Darren Wolfson of KSTP-TV reports that Minnesota hasn’t even set up a face-to-face meeting with outfield alternative Josh Willingham despite being linked to him last month.
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.