“There is no finality in Clayton Kershaw’s future. There is uncertainty,” Bill Shaikin writes in an article for the LA Times. While he’s hardly the first to think along those lines as the future Hall of Famer approaches a decision about his opt-out clause, Shaikin’s words do an excellent job of setting the tone for a conversation that’s likely quite uncomfortable for a large chunk of the fan base: Did Clayton Kershaw just make his last regular season start at Dodger Stadium?
For Kershaw’s part, he was transparent about his feelings on the mound. “I would be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind,” Kershaw said. When asked whether or not he’d decided to opt out of the remaining $65MM on his contract, the lefty simply said “no”. Dodgers chairman Mark Walter reportedly confirmed on Friday that he still hopes to make Kershaw a Dodger “for life”. The city of Los Angeles will probably be monitoring any rumors and hints about the situation quite closely in the coming weeks as the deadline for their franchise icon’s decision advances.
More news from out west…
- An interesting piece by Ron Wolschleger at Beyond the Box Score details the success of Astros deadline acquisition Ryan Pressly, and opines that he might be their best reliever. Highlighted in the piece are Pressly’s 0.90 ERA and 36.6% strikeout rate since joining the Astros. His 1.60 FIP also ranks second in the majors since the deadline. Mentioned in the piece as one potential catalyst for Pressly’s production surge after coming to Houston are changes in his pitch selection and sequencing, particularly the ditching of his two-seam fastball.
- With the Diamondbacks having plummeted out of the postseason picture, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic looks ahead to the offseason and lists the club’s 11 pending free agents and ranks them in order of how good a fit they are to be re-signed by Arizona. Interestingly enough, Buchanan opines that 35-year-old catcher Jeff Mathis is the best bet to be kept, in no small part due to his defensive prowess, game-calling abilities and positive clubhouse presence. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Buchanan doesn’t expect the Diamondbacks to keep right-hander Randall Delgado in the fold for 2019, citing his poor overall results on the season.