Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets that the Angels, Dodgers and Mets are “all in” on free agent Joel Pineiro.
The Mets have been connected to the 31-year-old right-hander all
winter, while the Dodgers have stepped up their pursuit in recent
weeks. The Angels, meanwhile, expressed interest early on, but have
money to spend after losing John Lackey and Chone Figgins.
Pineiro, like many free agent pitchers, hoped to use Randy Wolf’s
three-year, $30 million contract with the Brewers as a framework for a
new deal, but it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. At this point,
he’s more likely to find a contract just north of the two-year, $15
million contract the Nationals gave right-hander Jason Marquis.
On a related note, the Mets will be among a handful of teams in
attendance to watch Ben Sheets throw at the University of Louisiana on
Tuesday, according to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse. All involved will likely wait on investing in Pineiro until they see how Sheets checks out.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.