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Report: Mets sign Adrian Gonzalez

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The Mets signed free agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Saturday evening, per a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Terms of the deal have yet to be publicized, but the club is only on the hook for the league minimum in 2018 as the bulk of Gonzalez’s salary will still be paid by the Braves. The Mets are expected to officially confirm the deal pending the completion of a physical.

After polishing off a six-year track with the Dodgers in 2017, Gonzalez was dealt to the Braves during a five-player swap in December. He was released by Atlanta shortly after the trade, however, and has reportedly been engaged in discussions with the Mets since he entered free agency.

The 35-year-old first baseman is coming off of a down year, during which he struggled to remain healthy and produced a meager .242/.287/.355 batting line with three home runs in 252 plate appearances. He missed nearly three months with a herniated disc in his lower back and even toyed around with the idea of an early retirement, though his deal with the Mets suggests that he’s good to go for another season, if not more than that.

While the club already has an established first baseman in 22-year-old Dominic Smith, there’s no question that they could use the veteran leadership and career .288 bat Gonzalez brings to the table. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the club may have some lingering reservations about Smith, who sunk to sub-Mendoza Line levels of production in his debut last season and would likely benefit from another go-round in Triple-A Las Vegas.

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.