Red Sox ink Clay Buchholz to four-year contract extension

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Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz had a rough outing on Saturday afternoon against the Yankees, allowing eight hits and five runs before getting yanked in the middle of the fourth inning. That one rough patch hasn’t scared off the well-run Sox.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, Buchholz agreed to a four-year contract extension on Sunday afternoon that carries a total value of around $30 million.

The deal will cover all three of his arbitration years and his first season of free agency. He’s making just over the league minimum this season.

Buchholz, 26, first made his way to the major leagues in 2007 and finished with a stellar 2.33 ERA and 1.20 WHIP last year. He has ace-like potential and should be a reliable starter for the Red Sox over the course of the new pact. Lefty Jon Lester signed a similar five-year, $30 million contract in March of 2009 and that has obviously worked out well. Boston will hope for more of the same with the right-handed Buchholz.

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.