Clayton Kershaw was scratched from yesterday’s scheduled start with a hip injury and will be examined by a specialist tomorrow to determine if he needs surgery, leading Dodgers fans to worry that the reigning Cy Young winner might be lost for the remainder of the season.
At this point, however, that might be the least of their concerns, as Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Kershaw could miss the beginning of next season as well if he ends up going under the knife to repair a torn hip labrum.
In fact, Hernandez spoke to “people familiar with his condition” who say Kershaw likely wouldn’t be back in the Dodgers’ rotation until at least mid-May if he has the operation.
These next 36 hours or so figure to test Dodgers fans’ breath-holding ability.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.