Shin-Soo Choo is said to be aiming for eight years

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We heard earlier today that free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was looking for a seven-year, $140 million contract, but he’s actually aiming a bit higher.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the “general sense among teams involved” is that Choo will sign with whoever offers him an eight-year deal. The belief is that he already has a seven-year deal on the table, though the specific dollar amount isn’t known.

The Tigers added Rajai Davis yesterday while the Diamondbacks acquired Mark Trumbo, so the thought is that both clubs are out of the mix for Choo. Meanwhile, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty indicated to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer earlier today that he’s likely out of their price range. This leaves the Mariners and Rangers as the most likely landing spots, though we might not have a resolution at this week’s Winter Meetings.

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.