Lots of mild interest in Johnny Damon, nothin’ serious

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Two years ago, about 77% of our January-February posts were about Johnny Damon. This year? Not a ton, really. Aging is hard.

But after all of the ink we spilled back then — our first offseason on this blog — I still sort of feel like this is Johnny Damon season.  So I pass along the word from Jim Bowden:

Of course, no one seems all that serious.

Last we heard he wanted $5 million.  Seems pretty unlikely he’ll get that. He could still help someone though, so while some of the many DH-types may be without teams this year, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him sign a cheap deal before spring training begins.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.