Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times gives us the heads up to Clayton Kershaw’s offseason activities: he and his his wife are in Zambia working at an orphanage their charity foundation sponsors:
The small orphanage opened last year, and the Kershaws are there now with a team of 23, bringing additional donations, working on the site and interacting with the first eight orphans … The Kershaws are searching for additional sponsors for the orphans. They wrote that the current eight are sleeping in beds for the first time in their lives.
Kinda puts our complaints about the weather, our post-holidays weight, bowl games, the Hall of Fame and any number of other things in perspective.
If you want to follow the Kershaw’s activities and/or see what you can do to help them with the orphanage, go to their blog here, which is being updated by Ellen Kershaw.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.