The Braves don’t have a real general manager at the moment, but they made a couple of moves on some veterans all the same.
First the exercised catcher Tyler Flowers‘ $4 million club option for 2018. This was a no-brainer given Flowers’ solid production in 2017, which saw him hit .281/.378/.445 with 12 homers and 49 RBI over 99 games.
Second, they declined R.A. Dickey‘s $8 million club option for starter R.A. Dickey. Dickey was 10-10 with a 4.50 ERA over 190 innings this year which more than earned him the $8 million for next year, but he’s also expected to announce his retirement soon, so that’s that. By waiting for the Braves move on his option before announcing, he’ll be entitled to the $500,000 buyout on the deal. Expect him to knuckle off into the sunset shortly.
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.