Find your nearest fainting couch. Per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has selected Clayton Kershaw to start on Opening Day for the Dodgers. Take a minute to take that in and express your surprise as needed. “Cat’s out of the bag,” Roberts said. Opening Day for the Dodgers is on March 29 against the Giants in L.A.
Kershaw, 29, has started each of the Dodgers’ last seven Opening Days. In L.A. Dodgers history, only Don Drysdale and Don Sutton have matched the honor of starting Opening Day for the Dodgers at least seven times. Neither did it eight times.
Last season, Kershaw finished second in National League Cy Young Award balloting. He went 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA and a 202/30 K/BB ratio in 175 innings across 27 starts. The lefty missed some time between July 24 and the end of August with a back issue.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.