Done deal: Phillies trade Jimmy Rollins to Dodgers

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It took a while because the Dodgers needed to trade Matt Kemp to the Padres first, but now their deal to acquire Jimmy Rollins from the Phillies is also official.

Rollins, who waived his no-trade rights to facilitate a move after 15 seasons in Philadelphia, goes to Los Angeles in exchange for left-hander Tom Windle and right-hander Zach Eflin, the latter of whom was acquired from San Diego in the Kemp swap.

Rollins is 36 years old and not many shortstops have remained above-average players at that age, but his defensive numbers were strong in 2014 and he hit .243 with 17 homers and a .717 OPS to rank solidly above par for the position offensively. He’s obviously dropped off him his MVP-winning production in 2007, but Rollins ranked fourth among all MLB shortstops in Wins Above Replacement in 2014.

Windle was a 2013 second-round draft pick, but posted mediocre numbers as at high Single-A as a 23-year-old. Eflin was a first-rounder in 2012 and also spent this past season at high Single-A, although he was just 20 and held his own. It’s not a bad return for the Phillies considering Rollins is expensive, old, and entering the final year of his contract.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.