T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that it’s a “strong possibility” that the Rangers will sign Mike Napoli.
The Rangers were in the bidding for Edwin Encarnacion, and now that they lost him, they could use a 1B/DH type. Mike Napoli was just with the Indians and now that they signed Encarnacion, they don’t have a place for him and he needs a landing pad. It’s a chocolate/peanut butter moment for sure. And it’s not like they’re strangers to one another. Napoli played for the Rangers in 20011-12 and again in 2015.
Napoli is 35. He hit .239/.335/.465 with a career-high 34 home runs and 101 RBI in 2016. The Rangers can’t necessarily expect that again, but he still appears to have a good deal left in the tank.
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.