Clayton Kershaw on track to start Friday versus Rockies

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Clayton Kershaw came out of Sunday night’s start without making his bum hip any worse, so the reigning Cy Young winner is scheduled to take his next turn in the rotation Friday versus the Rockies.

Kershaw prepared for the outing by throwing a bullpen session Tuesday, reporting no problems two days after tossing five innings of one-run ball against the Reds.

It wasn’t his sharpest start, as Kershaw walked five batters and needed 92 pitches to record 15 outs, but considering the possibility that he’ll need surgery to repair a torn labrum his performance was plenty encouraging.

“I have no medical reasoning for why it feels good and it didn’t before,” Kershaw said, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. “I’m not complaining. I feel good now.”

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.