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Rays talking to Mariners about Nick Franklin


Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported Monday that the Mets have been discussing a possible Nick Franklin trade with the Mariners since December’s Winter Meetings, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is now hearing from a source that the Rays are also in the Franklin hunt and “actually match up better” with Seattle’s current needs and wants.

Heyman notes that the Rays and Mariners haggled earlier this winter about a David Price deal, which never went through but left the clubs intimately familiar with each others’ minor league systems.

Franklin was a first-round pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft and got ranked a Top 100 prospect by both and Baseball America last winter, but he is blocked in Seattle by Robinson Cano at second base and Brad Miller at shortstop. The M’s might as well see what he can fetch for the 22-year-old.

Rubin tweeted this Tuesday in response to Heyman’s report linking the Rays:

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.