Brad Hawpe could sign as soon as today

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Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Brad Hawpe could sign with a new club by as soon as today.

Hawpe, 31, was designated for assignment last week after batting just .255/.343/.432 with seven home runs, 37 RBI and a 776 OPS in 259 at-bats with the Rockies this season. After passing through release waivers this week, he is now eligible to sign with any team.

Renck writes that Hawpe’s agent is already talking to teams and speculates that the Rangers and Padres are among them. Just a short while ago, Corey Brock of MLB.com reported that the Padres intend to pass on Hawpe. It’s probably a wise move for both sides.

Hawpe really fits best in the American League, where his below average defense won’t be a drag on his value. Though he hasn’t shown it this season, he has an 895 OPS against right-handed pitching during his career. Moving from Coors Field won’t be easy for him, but a potential move to the Ballpark at Arlington wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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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.