Jeff Passan of Yahoo! spoke with an MLB executive who says he’s “100 percent certain” Albert Pujols will re-sign with the Cardinals. The reason: no one else is really showing interest. At least no one with the kind of money to outbid St. Louis.
I’ve kinda assumed this for a while. It was just bad timing for Pujols to hit the market, with with the Yankees and Red Sox both committing to top-notch first basemen in recent years. That left the occasional-spenders out there. Texas. Los Angeles. Detroit. Washington. Maybe the Cubs. Those teams either have a first baseman already or just don’t seem to want to pony up this year.
Albert is going to stay with the Cardinals. He’ll still be very rich. His legacy will be much better for it. And the Cardinals will be a much better team for it, at least for the next several years.
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.