Clayton Kershaw really, really wants the Dodgers to keep light-hitting catcher A.J. Ellis

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A.J. Ellis hit just .191 this season and would likely get a raise to at least $5 million via the arbitration process, so there’s been some speculation that the Dodgers could part ways with the 33-year-old catcher.

Clayton Kershaw thinks that would be a mistake, telling Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

I don’t know what I’m going to do if he’s not back.  I think we’d be losing a lot if we let him go. I know A.J. will land on his feet, but we need him here a lot. … “Just the tireless work that he does, it’s so selfless. It’s invaluable to know that what he’s putting down, there’s so much thought, so much work behind it. It gives me confidence to throw it.

That’s a very positive review of Ellis’ defensive value by the world’s best pitcher, but the Dodgers are no doubt wondering if he’s still capable of being the on-base machine he was from 2010-2012. He had a huge NLDS versus the Cardinals, but during the past two regular seasons seasons Ellis has hit .218 with a .638 OPS. Combined with his age, knee problems, and rising salary that could make it a tough call.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”