Padres starters Tim Stauffer, Dustin Moseley become free agents

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By outrighting Tim Stauffer and Dustin Moseley on Friday, the Padres dropped two-fifths of their planned 2012 rotation from the 40-man roster. Both have opted for free agency, the Union-Tribune reports.

Stauffer had a 1.85 ERA in seven starts and 25 relief appearances for the Padres in 2010 and a 3.73 ERA in 31 starts in 2011, but he made just one appearance in 2012 before going down with an elbow injury. Season-ending surgery to repair his flexor tendon followed.

Moseley, likewise, made just one start this year. He underwent labrum surgery on his shoulder in April, and he probably won’t be ready for the start of 2013. The 3o-year-old made 20 starts for the Padres in 2011 and went 3-10 with a 3.30 ERA.

One imagines the Padres will try to re-sign Stauffer at a lesser salary than the $3.2 million he made this year. Edinson Volquez and Clayton Richard are their only veteran returning starters, and the team will surely listen to offers to both this winter. Andrew Cashner also figures to have a spot in the rotation if healthy, but the Padres will need to add depth, and pitchers might not be quite as eager to sign with the team now that the fences at Petco are coming in a bit.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.