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The Fall Classic begins this evening in Houston.
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- The World Series is finally upon us as the very expected and loaded Houston Astros take on the upstart Washington Nationals this evening. The series is starting off with what should be a fantastic pitching matchup with Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole taking the mound.
- As soon as the World Series ends, our collective attention will turn towards free agency and who will be where and for how much. Qualifying offers, which attach draft pick compensation to the players who receive them, had a huge impact on the goings on last offseason (see: Kimbrel, Craig and Keuchel, Dallas). As a result, we put together a quick preview of the top 10 players that could/should get qualifying offers this offseason.
- As we creep closer to the offseason, teams are beginning to open up spots on their 40-man roster. Don’t get caught going, “Wait, what happened to that guy?”, and follow our MLB outright assignment tracker here.
- Another note from the Astros/Yankees series is a sad one. CC Sabathia, who had already had to force his body to get back on the mound due to a knee that is in rough shape, had to leave what will likely be his final career appearance early with a shoulder injury.
- While several teams have been being methodical with their searches for new managers, the Angels and Joe Maddon seemed to be a match from the beginning and had been linked to each other basically since the job became available. Well, yesterday things became official as Maddon was named the Angels’ manager for the next three seasons.
- Next up on the endless Indeed listings of baseball managers: the Mets have now had multiple interviews with both Joe Girardi and Tim Bogar, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. This dampens some spirits who were holding out for Carlos Beltran to secure the skipper spot. While no one has signed anything in stone yet, the former Met has not confirmed a second interview with the team. Bogar, another former Metropolitan, was a successful MiLB coach before heading to the show in 2008 to assist Joe Maddon with the Rays. From there he’s been a bench coach for the Rangers, a special assistant to the GM for the Angels, and is currently on the coaching staff for the World Series-bound Nationals. Wait, roll that tape back again. World Series, you say? Sign every one up. That is, Joe Girardi led the Yankees to a title as well, but it’s unclear the physical and mental capacity of all involved having to hear, “It’s not what you want,” so many times in a row.
- Not excited enough for the World Series to start? Well too bad because you better get there, especially seeing as Alex Bregman versus Anthony Rendon is a historically great third base World Series matchup.
- The Phillies were one of the league’s biggest disappointments in 2019. After committing around half a billion dollars in payroll between free agent signings and trades, the Phillies were expected to be leading contenders for the NL East crown but instead finished in 4th place with a .500 record. That was clearly not good enough as Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was fired last week.
- The Phillies are wasting no time in moving on from The Gabe Kapler Experiment. The team is already set to interview Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter, and Dusty Baker, reports Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia and Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, respectively.
- Catcher Brian McCann who played for the Braves, Yankees, and Astros in his storied career, announced his retirement from baseball after Atlanta’s loss in the playoffs.
- There are several managerial openings and it is doubtful that we have seen all of the movement that we are going to see. Our own Andersen Pickard took a look at the currently available (or at least likely available) managerial candidates as well as gave some potential fits for each one.
- In a concerning development for the city of Oakland and its sports fans, mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed that commissioner Rob Manfred has threatened to move the Athletics out of the region due to a lawsuit that was recently filed by the Oakland city council against Alameda County — one that would effectively prevent the team from pursuing a new privately-financed ballpark in the area. Manfred mentioned Las Vegas as a possible destination for the A’s, though it’s debatable how feasible that move would be.
- The Nationals, who already saw Bryce Harper walk away last offseason to the rival Phillies, have reportedly offered star third baseman Anthony Rendon a seven-year contract extension worth around $210 million. This is going to be an important offseason for the Nationals as Rendon will be a free agent and it sounds like Stephen Strasburg will opt out of his contract as well. Whether they figure out an extension for these guys or they hit the free agent market to try and replace them, the Nationals appear poised to be VERY busy this offseason yet again.
- Up next on the list of managers officially getting their walking papers: the Pirates have fired manager Clint Hurdle. This was particularly surprising considering the week before it was being reported that Hurdle would stay with the team next season, which turned out to be a massive miscommunication that seemed to fit right in with the season Pittsburgh had this year.
- The Padres fired manager Andy Green after almost four seasons with the club. Despite adding Manny Machado to the roster and developing young phenom Fernando Tatis Jr., Green’s all time 274-366 record was enough for both the fans and upper management to lose faith in him. Stay tuned as we watch for the smoke signals to see who the Padres have elected as their new manager.
- The Marlins, coming off back-to-back seasons where they have finished dead last in the NL East, decided to give manager Don Mattingly a two-year contract extension. Some may be puzzled by this move given the Marlins’ lack of success, but it worth noting that the Marlins aren’t going to be winning much of anything over the next two years, which puts less onus on getting the right guy in there at the moment.
- In an extremely disturbing development, Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested and denied bond after being charged with possession of child pornography, providing obscene material to minors, and soliciting a child. He’s been placed on administrative leave by MLB.