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Nationals “remain confident they will get” Adam LaRoche

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Adam LaRoche slugged 33 home runs and tallied 100 RBI in 154 games this summer for the Nationals while also earning Gold Glove honors at first base.

But he hasn’t found much of a market this offseason. Which has the Washington front office feeling good.

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals “remain confident they will get” the 33-year-old slugger to re-sign with them. The Rangers were linked at one point to LaRoche but are no longer in the running. And the Orioles’ interest is said to be “minimal at best.”

Perhaps the Mariners will emerge as a more serious suitor if they’re unable to lure in Josh Hamilton or some other big-ticket hitter. They could also wait for LaRoche to re-sign and then try to trade for Michael Morse.

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.