Mets sign A.J. Griffin to minor league deal

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The Mets have signed right-hander A.J. Griffin on a minor league deal with a major league camp invite.

Griffin, a one-time 14-game winner for the A’s before ligament and shoulder injuries derailed his career, has spent the past two seasons in Texas, where he has compiled a 5.41 ERA and a record of 13-10 in 41 games. An extreme fly ball pitcher, Griffin has been at or near the top of the home run and hit rate charts over the course of his career, which is never where you want to be.

Not that the Mets need him to be an ace. Indeed, Griffin will most likely serve as organizational depth and injury insurance, so look for him to begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas if he accepts a minor league assignment after camp. Which, given how hitter-friendly Las Vegas is and given how homer prone Griffin is, should be pretty dang special, but I suppose it beats digging ditches.

Clayton Kershaw returning to Dodgers on 1-year, $20M deal

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LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023 after signing a one-year, $20 million deal.

For the second straight year, the Dodgers didn’t extend a qualifying offer to the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Instead, they gave him additional time to mull his future, and he once again decided to stay with the only franchise he’s ever played for during his 15-year major league career.

The 34-year-old left-hander was 12-3 with 2.28 ERA in 22 starts last season. He struck out 137 and walked 23. Kershaw made his ninth All-Star team and started the Midsummer Classic for the first time in his career at Dodger Stadium.

Last April, he became the franchise’s all-time strikeout leader with 2,697. He reached 2,800 strikeouts in his last start of the regular season on Oct. 5 against Colorado. Kershaw ranks 24th all-time with 2,807.

Kershaw has a career record of 197-87 with a 2.48 ERA. He won his only World Series title in 2020, when the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay during the pandemic-shortened season.