Plantar fasciitis can be a nagging, serious injury for position players, but the Dodgers are downplaying news that reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw has been diagnosed with the foot injury.
According to manager Don Mattingly he only feels the discomfort in his foot when he’s running and it has no impact on his pitching, so the Dodgers’ training staff is “trying different tape and things at night to help it go away.”
For a pitcher obviously a foot injury is a whole lot better than an arm injury, but plantar fasciitis tends not to go away quickly and enough position players have struggled to play through it that it’s natural to wonder if Kershaw’s mechanics could be negatively altered by the pain.
Mattingly revealed to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that Kershaw been getting treatment for more than a week already. He allowed three runs over seven innings against the Phillies in his last start Monday and allowed a season-high five runs over 5.2 innings against the Brewers last week.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.