Bill Ladson of MLB.com hears that Roy Oswalt is looking for a three-year contract. And after Bruce Chen, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang have all received two-year deals this offseason, some team might be willing to go there.
Of course, the major concern with Oswalt is his degenerative back condition. While the 34-year-old right-hander had a respectable 3.69 ERA and 93/33 K/BB ratio over 139 innings this season, was he limited to just 23 starts and the velocity on his fastball (91.4 mph) was a career low.
Oswalt is a major risk on a multi-year contract, but teams like the Nationals, Red Sox or Yankees might be willing to take the gamble. The market has been pretty slow on him until this point, but things should clear up once C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle are off the board.
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.