Rangers drawing lots of trade interest in Alex Rios

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With an MLB-worst 41-64 record the Rangers are obviously looking to sell at the trade deadline and right fielder Alex Rios seems likely to be moved before July 31.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that at least four teams have expressed interest in Rios, who has about $5 million remaining on his contract for this season and a $13.5 million team option or $1 million buyout for next season.

At age 33 he’s having a typical season, hitting .299 with a .754 OPS that nearly matches his .766 career mark. He has experience in all three outfield spots, although his defense no longer grades out as a big plus anywhere statistically. If contending teams believe he’s worth having around for $13.5 million in 2015 his trade value could be a bit higher than a typical two-month veteran rental, but Rios does have a limited no-trade clause to block six teams.

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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.