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Dodgers have had ‘exploratory trade talks’ with Red Sox about Mookie Betts


The Dodgers have been rumored to be wanting to make a big trade this offseason. To date those rumors have primarily focused on Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians, for whom the Dodgers are said to be willing to five up their own shortstop, Corey Seager.

Today Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Dodgers have expanded their potential blockbuster net to Boston, with whom they have had “exploratory trade talks” for Mookie Betts. Again, Seager is said to be on the table. Not on the table, for either Lindor or Betts, is prospect Gavin Lux.

If the Dodgers truly value Lux, a big-hitting shortstop and second baseman, it may make more sense for them to pursue Betts, actually. At least if they think they could sign him to a long term deal. Obviously, of course, acquiring either one of those two superstars would represent a massive move.

Betts is entering his final year of arbitration and is expected to get close to $30 million for 2020, after which he’ll be a free agent. Lindor is under team control for two more seasons. He made $10.55 million in 2019 and is projected to be in the $16-17 million range in 2020.

All of this is just talk for now. But it’s worth keeping an eye on the Dodgers.

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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