Just a quick mini-update while we patiently (or anxiously, depending upon your fandom) wait to learn who had the top bid for Yu Darvish.
No big news yet, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters have “definitely” decided to accept the top bid.
Hardly a shocker, as Franz Lidz of SI.com reported over the weekend that the posting fee is expected to top the record $51,111,111 sum that the Red Sox paid for exclusive negotiating rights with right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka back in November of 2006.
An official announcement is expected at some point tonight (U.S. time), but Knobler hears that it might not happen for another three hours or so. Stay tuned.
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.