Yoan Moncada’s defection was . . . weird

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Jorge Arangure of Vice Sports tells us the story — at least as much of the story as can be known at the moment — about Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada’s defection and the interim period he has spent in Guatemala in order to establish himself as a free agent. It involves an agent who isn’t really an agent, a baby registry, possible violations of the U.S. embargo, Scott Boras spies and armed guards patrolling the third base line. It’s must-read stuff.

It’s also the fact that a good portion of all of the weirdness involved here would be unnecessary if it weren’t for Major League Baseball’s rules which prevent Cuban players from establishing themselves as free agents from the safety of the United States as opposed to having them cool their heels in a way station like Guatemala.

 

Clayton Kershaw returning to Dodgers on 1-year, $20M deal

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023 after signing a one-year, $20 million deal.

For the second straight year, the Dodgers didn’t extend a qualifying offer to the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Instead, they gave him additional time to mull his future, and he once again decided to stay with the only franchise he’s ever played for during his 15-year major league career.

The deal includes a $5 million signing bonus payable on June 30, a salary of $15 million and a hotel suite on road trips.

The 34-year-old left-hander was 12-3 with 2.28 ERA in 22 starts last season. He struck out 137 and walked 23. Kershaw made his ninth All-Star team and started the Midsummer Classic for the first time in his career at Dodger Stadium.

Last April, he became the franchise’s all-time strikeout leader with 2,697. He reached 2,800 strikeouts in his last start of the regular season on Oct. 5 against Colorado. Kershaw ranks 24th all-time with 2,807.

Kershaw has a career record of 197-87 with a 2.48 ERA. He won his only World Series title in 2020, when the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay during the pandemic-shortened season.