Several teams interested in trading for R.A. Dickey

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The Mets have been trying to sign R.A. Dickey to a multi-year contract extension. If it doesn’t work out, they’re likely to trade him at some point this winter.

And they will not lack for potential suitors.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Mets “have fielded calls from six or seven teams” that want to chat at the Winter Meetings next week in Nashville, Tennessee about what it would take to acquire the veteran knuckleballer. The Royals have already been linked, though they’ll probably want to go a little younger if possible. Heyman suspects the Mets “will seek a catcher and outfield help” in return.

Dickey won the Cy Young Award in the National League this past season after posting a fantastic 2.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 230/54 K/BB ratio across 233 2/3 innings of work. The 38-year-old right-hander is currently scheduled to hit the free agent market next winter. He’ll make a $5 million salary in 2013.

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.