Homer Bailey
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Athletics acquire Homer Bailey

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Right-hander Homer Bailey has been dealt to the Athletics, the team announced Sunday. Since Bailey is currently receiving the league minimum from the Royals, ESPN’s Jeff Passan notes, the Athletics will owe him no more than $250,000 for the remainder of the 2019 season. Kansas City is expected to receive top infield prospect Kevin Merrell in return.

The 33-year-old Bailey inked a minors deal with the Royals in advance of spring training. Since then, he’s put up a 7-6 record in 18 starts with a 4.80 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 through 90 innings. While he isn’t the 3.00-ERA, 3.0+ fWAR, no-hitter hurler he was for the Reds in years past, he may yet improve his performance with the A’s as they vie for a wild card spot this summer. He was originally slated to start Sunday’s game against the Tigers, but was replaced by southpaw Brian Flynn prior to news of the trade.

Merrell, 23, was selected by the A’s in the first round of the 2017 amateur draft. The shortstop/second baseman made the jump to Double-A Midland in 2019 and slashed .246/.292/.339 with 19 extra bases, 13 stolen bases (in 17 chances), and a .631 OPS through 318 plate appearances. Per MLB Pipeline, he ranked 17th-best among the club’s prospects in 2019.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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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.