Clayton Kershaw not close to extension with Dodgers

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With all the huge long-term contracts being handed out this week there was speculation that Clayton Kershaw could be next, but it doesn’t sound like he’s close to signing an extension with the Dodgers.

Kershaw’s agent, Casey Close, was at Dodger Stadium on Monday and Tuesday, but a source told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that a deal “didn’t appear imminent.”

Kershaw has said previously that he didn’t want negotiations to drag into the season, but declined to say if he’s cut off talks. He threw a complete-game shutout and homered against the Giants on Opening Day, so it’s safe to say if talks are ongoing it hasn’t been a distraction yet.

Kershaw is making $11 million this season and will be arbitration eligible in 2014, so the Dodgers have some time before they have to start worrying about him hitting the open market as a free agent. Whenever he signs his next contract, my guess is Kershaw will become the first $200 million pitcher.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.