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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.

Braves ace Mike Soroka out for year with torn Achilles

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Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won’t be back on the mound until 2021.

“It’s a freak thing that happened,” manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. “I’m sorry it did.”

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

“Somebody else is going to get an opportunity,” Snitker said. “Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We’re going to be fine.”

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won’t get a chance to make up for it this season.