Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that right-hander Steven Wright has settled for a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Red Sox, effectively avoiding arbitration. The team has yet to confirm the settlement.
Wright, 33, made it through just five starts before a left knee sprain cut his season short in April. He underwent a cartilage restoration procedure and is presumed to be out of commission until spring 2018. Prior to his injury-shortened campaign with the Red Sox in 2017, the knuckleballer put up All-Star numbers in 2016, going 13-6 in 24 starts with a 3.33 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 156 2/3 innings.
Complicating matters, of course, is Wright’s arrest on domestic assault charges last month. The case will be retired for one year, which Wright’s law firm says is “the first step toward a dismissal,” but the league can still hand down a separate punishment if they see fit to do so.
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.