According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Yankees and Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima are said to be “far apart” in negotiations.
The Yankees bid $2 million to secure an exclusive 30-day negotiating window with the 29-year-old earlier this month. Nakajima doesn’t figure to be more than a second utility infielder behind Eduardo Nunez even if he does sign, so there have been some rumblings about a potential sign-and-trade.
Heyman writes that the two sides have until Tuesday to get a deal done, but other reports have suggested that the deadline is January 6. Either way, as Bryan Hoch of MLB.com wrote on Wednesday, a resolution is expected next week. The Yankees will not be responsible for the posting fee if the deadline passes with no deal.
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.