Angels have discussed trade for Tigers starter Rick Porcello

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The Angels beefed up their offense in a big way this week, signing Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million free agent contract. Now they’re looking to further address their starting rotation needs.

According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, Anaheim’s decision-makers have “been in contact” with the Tigers about a potential trade for right-handed starter Rick Porcello. Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos would seem to fit as a trade piece, but Knobler says that particular swap is not close to happening because the Halos would much rather move Kendrys Morales.

Morales, strictly a designated hitter and first baseman, obviously isn’t a fit in Detroit.

Porcello posted a 4.59 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 107/44 K/BB ratio in 176 1/3 innings this past summer for the Tigers. The 23-year-old former first-round pick owns a 4.55 career ERA through four MLB seasons.

The Padres and Pirates have also been mentioned as possible landing spots for Porcello.

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.