Diamondbacks will start Patrick Corbin, Trevor Cahill in Australia series vs. Dodgers

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The Diamondbacks and Dodgers will ring in the 2014 MLB season in Australia with a two-game series at the Sydney Cricket Ground from March 22-23. While we’re still waiting on official word from the Dodgers, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson confirmed via his Twitter account today who he plans to start during the series:

Corbin, 24, gets the Opening Day nod for Arizona after an impressive first full season in the majors last year in which he posted a 3.41 ERA and 178/54 K/BB ratio over 208 1/3 innings. Cahill had a 3.99 ERA and 102/65 K/BB ratio across 146 2/3 innings last year.

While it has been widely assumed that 2013 NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will start the season opener for the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly has remained quiet about his plans. Zack Greinke, who expressed his disinterest in pitching in Australia in the first place, is not expected to be ready after his recent calf injury.

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.