CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Rangers have put negotiations “on hold” with Josh Hamilton as they try to sign free agent starter Zack Greinke.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweeted earlier that the Dodgers were looking like the “clear favorite” for Greinke, but Heyman says the Texas front office is showing “signs of determination” in their quest to land the best pitcher on the market this offseason.
Greinke registered a strong 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 200/54 K/BB ratio in 212 1/3 innings this past summer between the Brewers and Angels.
The 29-year-old right-hander is said to be seeking a seven-year contract worth close to — or perhaps over — $160 million.
As for Hamilton, the market remains slow-developing. The Orioles, Phillies, Red Sox and Mariners have been linked, but at this moment it doesn’t seem like he’s going to find the $175 million deal he was rumored to be looking for. If we had to guess, we’d probably put him back with the Rangers on a five-year contract.
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.