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Report: Nationals interested in Lance Lynn

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Free agent right-hander Lance Lynn has garnered considerable interest around the league this offseason, most recently from the Nationals. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal speculates that the team would be hard-pressed to accommodate someone with Lynn’s asking price, given that they’ve already blown past the $197 million luxury tax threshold, but that still may not prevent them from making an offer.

Lynn, 30, thrived in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in late 2015. While he has yet to return to the sub-3.00 ERA, 3.0+ fWAR totals of seasons past, he had a healthy, productive run with the Cardinals in 2017, going 11-8 in a career-high 33 starts and turning in a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 186 1/3 innings. Better still, he managed to dodge the disabled list entirely, missing just four days with a blister on his throwing hand and exhibiting no signs of recurring elbow issues.

Of course, the Nationals aren’t the only ones who want to buy in on a stable veteran starter. The Brewers, Orioles, Rangers and Twins have all been connected to Lynn at various points throughout the winter, though no clear frontrunner has emerged just yet. Both the Brewers and Orioles are arguably better-positioned to make a play for Lynn, but they currently appear more invested in fellow free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who is still on the market after rejecting a three-year, $42 million offer from the Cubs earlier this offseason.

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.