Reds could trade Homer Bailey to create payroll space

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The Reds’ rotation appears to be set, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer suggests the team could trade Homer Bailey to create room in the payroll for one more free agent signing. Fay does mention that the Reds wouldn’t sign a free agent like Nelson Cruz or Stephen Drew.

Bailey, 27, is eligible for arbitration for the final time going into the 2014 season. He will get a raise over last season’s $5.35 million salary, especially since he had the best season of his career (3.49 ERA in 209 innings) and threw a no-hitter. Fay writes that it makes sense for the Reds to move Bailey if they don’t think they can sign him to a contract extension.

If the Reds do trade Bailey, they could reunite with starter Bronson Arroyo, whose market hasn’t been nearly as strong as anticipated as he remains available in the free agent market.

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.