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White Sox sign Xavier Cedeno to a minor league deal

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The White Sox signed free agent left-hander Xavier Cedeno to a minor league deal, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reported Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where the lefty stands to earn $1.05 million if he makes the majors in 2018.

Cedeno, 31, was non-tendered by the Rays in December after missing nearly the entire 2017 season with a left forearm strain. He managed to avoid Tommy John surgery, but was limited to just three innings over nine appearances with the club, racking up seven hits, five runs, three homers and zero strikeouts as he closed out his seventh season in the majors.

When healthy, however, the southpaw has been the picture of consistency. He generated sub-4.00 ERAs and a cumulative 1.4 fWAR over two full seasons with the Rays and Nationals and looks to be a legitimate contender for a bullpen role again this spring. The White Sox are still reconstructing their bullpen after a slew of trades last year, and have only guaranteed one left-hander a spot in the ‘pen so far: 28-year-old Luis Avilan, who was brought on board earlier this month during a three-team trade with the Dodgers and Royals.

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.