A’s sign No. 11 pick Addison Russell for $2.625 million

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Oakland has signed first-round pick Addison Russell, with Jim Callis of Baseball America reporting that the high school shortstop from Florida will get the exact slot figure for the No. 11 pick of $2.625 million.

Prior to the draft Baseball America ranked Russell as the 28th-best player in the class and ESPN.com rated him 19th. Amusingly the BA scouting report compared him to Juan Uribe “for his thick body, arm strength and power potential.”

That was apparently before Russell lost a bunch of weight, but both BA and ESPN cast doubt on his ability to remain at shortstop long term defensively while touting his popat the plate.

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.