Red Sox one of “four or five” teams interested in Josh Hamilton

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We heard earlier today that the Rangers have been the “most aggressive” on free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, but it appears they will have competition.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com in Boston reports that the Red Sox are among “four or five” teams interested in Hamilton. But their interest comes with a pretty big caveat, as they are only willing to consider him on a short-term deal, likely with a higher AAV (average annual value). So his market would have to be pretty weak for this to be a real possibility.

There’s been chatter that Hamilton is looking for a seven-year deal, but one source tells Bradford that teams are currently waiting to see if there is anybody willing to offer as many as four years. The Orioles, Phillies, Brewers, and Mariners have all been mentioned as possible landing spots, but there’s some hesitancy to meet his substantial asking price, which is not a big surprise when you consider his age, injury risk and history of substance abuse. But it only takes one team to blow expectations out of the water.

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.