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Report: Yu Darvish wants to return to the Dodgers

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In a reader mailbag, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times says his understanding is that free agent starter Yu Darvish would like to return to the Dodgers. Darvish hasn’t signed with a team yet because he’s waiting to see if the Dodgers can free up some payroll space to add him while staying below the luxury tax threshold of $197 million.

McCullough notes that the Dodgers have been unable thus far to move “extraneous assets” like catcher Yasmani Grandal ($7.9 million), infielder Logan Forsythe ($9 million), and pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu ($7.83 million). The Dodgers currently have $185.4 million in commitments for the 2018 season, according to Cot’s Contracts.

Darvish, 31, pitched well for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Rangers on July 31. In nine starts, he posted a 3.44 ERA with a 61/13 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. He faltered in the World Series, surrendering nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts against the Astros. Darvish, apparently, had been tipping his pitches and the Astros caught on. The team that ends up signing Darvish would have to be confident the right-hander fixed his tell.

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.