Clayton Kershaw expected to return from bereavement leave to start Friday

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Clayton Kershaw is away from the Dodgers on bereavement leave following the death of his father, but manager Don Mattingly told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that the team is “pretty sure” the left-hander will be back to start Friday against the Giants.

That would mean Kershaw staying on his normal pitching schedule, as he left the team and traveled home to Texas after throwing eight shutout innings Sunday against the Brewers.

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.