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Dodgers, Royals, White Sox make a three-team trade


The hot stove was finally turned on a few days after the new year — we’re now cooking on low heat this Thursday night. The Dodgers will get Royals reliever Scott Alexander and White Sox minor league infielder Jake Peter, the Royals will receive Dodgers prospect Trevor Oaks and minor league infielder Erick Mejia, and the White Sox will receive Dodgers reliever Luis Avilan, Royals reliever Joakim Soria, and $3 million ($2 million from the Dodgers, $1 million from the Royals). The trade has been announced by all three teams. Here are links to the Dodgers’ tweets.

Alexander, 28, is under team control through 2022 and won’t become eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 season. The lefty has a career 2.78 ERA with a 78/38 K/BB ratio in 94 innings across three seasons in the majors. Alexander is a ground ball machine, having induced them at a 72.9 percent rate, which is the second-highest rate since the start of the 2015 season behind Zach Britton (77.7%).

Peter, 24, was selected by the White Sox in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. This past season, with Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, he hit .279/.344/.417 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI in 516 plate appearances. Peter has spent most of his minor league career at second base but has also played third base, shortstop, and both outfield corners.

Oaks, 24, was selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. MLB Pipeline rated him as the No. 14 overall prospect in the Dodgers’ system. The right-hander spent most of his 2017 season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, putting up a 3.64 ERA with a 72/18 K/BB ratio in 84 innings.

Mejia, 23, was signed by the Mariners as an international free agent in June 2012, then sent to the Dodgers in the Joe Wieland trade in January 2016.  He spent most of his 2017 campaign with Double-A Tulsa, batting .289/.357/.413 with 25 stolen bases and 61 runs scored in 403 plate appearances. Mejia has spent most of his time at shortstop, but has also logged time at second base and third base.

Avilan, 28, is eligible for arbitration in his third of four years. This past season, the lefty posted a 2.93 ERA with a 52/22 K/BB ratio in 46 innings.

Soria, 33, pitched 56 innings for the Royals last year with a 3.70 ERA and a 64/20 K/BB ratio. He is owed $9 million for the 2018 season and has a mutual option for 2019 worth $10 million with a $1 million buyout.

What does this mean for the teams involved? The Dodgers acquire a solid lefty reliever to replace Tony Watson, who became a free agent, and remain able to stay under the $197 million luxury tax threshold. The Royals clear Soria’s salary, which allows them to potentially bring back Eric Hosmer (or sign someone else). The White Sox got a pair of solid relievers without breaking the bank.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.