The Dodgers clinched their third straight NL West championship in style last night as Clayton Kershaw threw a complete game one-hitter to whitewash the Giants. Kershaw struck out 13 and allowed just one walk in the 8-0 result. The Dodgers will move on to face the Mets in the NLDS, and home-field advantage has yet to be decided in what is sure to be a pitching-centric series. Here’s some more from around the NL West…
- Some members of the Padres organization like Ian Desmond, Justin Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Desmond is coming off a disappointing walk year though he might still represent a big shortstop upgrade for a club that has struggled to find productive middle infielders in recent seasons.
- The Padres aren’t likely to re-sign Justin Upton, MLB.com’s Corey Brock says in an interview with Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090 Sports Show (video link). Brock isn’t sure the Padres ever planned to have Upton beyond this season, as the plan seemed to be to issue him a qualifying offer and then get a first round pick back when he signed elsewhere. The interview is well worth a full watch as Brock discusses several Padres topics looking ahead to the 2016 team, including Yonder Alonso‘s future, big names on the trade block and the team’s manager search. For the record, Brock predicts that Ron Washington will be San Diego’s next manager.
- Aaron Hill tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he asked the Diamondbacks to look into trading him prior to the season. The veteran infielder made the request after he was told he’d be used in a part-time role, though Hill said he wouldn’t have asked if he’d known that he’d still be receiving significant playing time (111 games and 338 PA entering today). Hill admitted that the trade rumors swirling around him may have impacted his play, and if so, “that’s on me. The last couple months have been nice. Maybe it’s because it was after the deadline and things were a little clearer about where I was going to be the rest of the year.” Both Hill and GM Dave Stewart expect him to be back with the Snakes next year, though given Hill’s $12MM salary in 2016 and his .239/.290/.359 slash line over the last two seasons, a trade would’ve seemed unlikely anyway unless the D’Backs agreed to eat some money.
- A new contract between Tim Lincecum and the Giants is “more a matter of when, how much and in what form, rather than if,” according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Lincecum underwent hip surgery in early September that ended his season, though rumors have swirled since then that both he and his long-time team were interested in Lincecum remaining in the Bay Area. Indeed, Baggarly hears that “interest is mutual and strong” between the two sides in continuing their relationship.