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Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw agree to extend opt-out deadline

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The Dodgers announced on Wednesday night that the club and starter Clayton Kershaw have agreed to extend his opt-out deadline until Friday at 4 PM ET.

Kershaw, 30, can opt out of his current contract to become a free agent or he can stay on his current contract which would pay him $32 million in 2019 and $33 million in 2020. The two sides can also work out a new contract extension as well.

Kershaw finished this past season with a 2.73 ERA and a 155/29 K/BB ratio in 161 1/3 innings. He had mixed results in the postseason as his team won three of his six starts while he allowed 15 runs (14 earned) on 25 hits and seven walks with 26 strikeouts in 30 innings.

Notably, Kershaw failed to reach 30 starts for the third consecutive season and for the fourth time in the last five seasons. He has been bothered by back issues in recent years. Among seasons in which he has pitched 110 or more innings, Kershaw’s strikeout rate this past season at 23.9 was a career low as was his 90.9 MPH average fastball velocity.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.