Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals have agreed to a two-year deal with catcher Kurt Suzuki. Financial terms are not yet known. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is reportedly for $10 million over the two years in total.
Suzuki hit .271/.332/.444 with 12 homers in 388 plate appearances in 2018 and has an .825 OPS over the past two seasons. Those two years are substantially better offensively than anything he did over the previous ten years of his career. He turned 35 in early October.
Given his age and how much of an outlier those two seasons were offensively, it’s hard to guess what he’ll do going forward, but even some regression from these recent highs will serve the Nats well if they use Suzuki wisely. He’s not a full-time catcher, really, having worked in a co-starting situation in Atlanta for the past two years. Assuming Washington pairs him up with someone who can play at least 60 or 70 games himself, they’ll have a pretty decent catching duo.
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.