Gio Gonzalez
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Report: Mets, Padres interested in Gio González

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Free agent left-hander Gio González has continued to draw interest from the Mets this offseason, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. They aren’t the only interested party, either, as MLB.com’s Jon Morosi noted Thursday that the Padres have added González’s name to an ever-expanding list of potential free agent targets. Time is running out before the 2019 season kicks off, however, and it remains to be seen whether either team will close a deal with the starter in the weeks to come.

The 33-year-old González pitched to mixed results in 2018 during back-to-back stints for the Nationals and Brewers. He went 10-11 in 32 starts with a combined 4.21 ERA, 4.2 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9 through 171 innings, and tossed just three postseason innings for Milwaukee before dropping out of the NLCS with a left ankle sprain. While he didn’t reach any new career highs during his 2018 campaign, he still looks like a stable back-end rotation candidate and may yet return to the sub-3.00 ERA, 3.0+ fWAR totals of seasons past.

Despite González’s sub-par totals over the last year, including his high walk rate and abnormally low strikeout rate, the Mets don’t appear to have any reservations about the lefty’s performance moving forward. What they do object to, however, is his asking price. He’s reportedly in the market for a multi-year contract, something Martino thinks he’ll be hard-pressed to get from a club that doesn’t want to shell out big bucks to bolster their rotation in 2019. It’s certainly possible that González will make a concession and settle for a one-year deal as Opening Day draws near, but with the Padres still in play (and agent Scott Boras driving any serious negotiations), he may not be anxious to do so anytime soon.

Clayton Kershaw shut down with “an arm kind of thing”

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Spring training is just underway but Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is already being shut down indefinitely.

Kershaw threw two bullpen sessions this week and, as the Los Angeles Times reports, he “didn’t feel right” afterward. Manager Dave Roberts said it was “arm kind of thing,” which, viva specificity. Roberts did allow that it might be so-called “dead arm” but it’s too soon to know. For now he’ll be working out as usual but not throwing.

Kershaw has had an increasing number of nagging injuries and ailments over the past several seasons, limiting him to 26 starts last year, 27 the year before and 21 in 2016. Whether this is something serious or not is unknown, but at least he’s experiencing it now instead of the middle of the season.