The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore reports that the Nationals have moved on to Roy Oswalt after coming up short in their bid for Mark Buehrle.
A source told Kilgore that the Nationals failed to match the Marlins’ four-year, $58 million bid for Buehrle in either years or salary, suggesting that they were at something closer to $40 million for three years.
That’s a deal Oswalt would be happy with, though it’s unclear whether the Nationals see the two as equals. Oswalt probably offers a bit more upside, but his chronic back woes make him a risky signing. While Buehrle has pitched 200 innings in 11 straight seasons, Oswalt has fallen short of that mark in two of the last three. Last year, he went 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 139 innings for the Phillies.
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.