Twins among teams interested in Johan Santana

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According to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins remain interested in a reunion with free agent left-handed starter Johan Santana but are one of only several major league teams currently in the running for his services.

“We talked (Monday) and I’ll see,” Twins assistant GM Rob Antony told the Star-Tribune about a chat with Santana’s agent, Peter Greenberg. “I haven’t heard back from him. I expressed where we are at. He said, ‘I’ll talk to Johan and we will get back.'”

Santana sat out the entire 2013 season after undergoing surgery in April for a re-tear of his left shoulder capsule. He has thrown off a mound twice this month as part of his ongoing rehabilitation process and is aiming to be ready for live major league action sometime around late May or early June.

Santana spent the first eight years of his career in Minnesota, posting a sensational 3.22 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 9.5 K/9 in 1,308 2/3 innings. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006.

Despite the healthy amount of interest, Santana will likely have to settle for a minor league deal.

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.