Flashback: Marlon Byrd was ready to retire if he didn’t make the Mets

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Marlon Byrd has resurrected his career by hitting .280 with 17 homers and an .832 OPS in 91 games for the Mets, who continue to say that they won’t trade the 35-year-old impending free agent unless they get blown away with an offer.

Whether or not you actually believe that is one thing, but it’s also worth noting that Byrd was just about ready to call it a career back in spring training. He was trying to make the Mets on a minor-league contract and more or less vowed to retire if he failed, saying:

I kind of look at it as a last chance. If I don’t make this team, I don’t see many other chances in baseball. That’s the way I’m playing, like it is my last chance.

Five months later he’s having the best season of his career and the Mets are debating whether trade offers for him are big enough.

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.