B.J. Upton survived the trade deadline in a Rays’ uniform, but there’s still a chance he could have a new home before the end of the season.
According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, Upton was claimed off revocable waivers by an unknown team.
Topkin suspects the mystery team could be the Nationals, who have expressed interest in the past, though Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote earlier this week that “there’s healthy debate within the Nationals about the merits of making Upton their answer in center field.”
The Rays have until Monday to work out a trade with the claiming team, but Topkin believes a deal is unlikely at this time.
Upton, 27, is batting .223/.303/.387 with 17 homers, 58 RBI, 26 stolen bases and a .691 OPS over 499 plate appearances this season. He is making $4.825 million in 2011 and is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter.
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.