As if the Rays didn't already have the focus of the baseball world, Joe Maddon announced that Matt Moore will start Game One of the ALDS tomorrow against the Rangers. Moore (the 22-year-old consensus top pitching prospect in baseball) has all of 9 1/3 Major League innings to his credit, with a 2.89 ERA and 15 strikeouts against just three walks in his short career. As Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe put it, "the Rays are taking their house money and doubling down with it."
Some news from around the league as we prepare for the start of the postseason…
- Mike Quade believes he will manage the Cubs next season, though he understands if the incoming Cubs GM wants to make changes, reports Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago.
- Several players have told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that Javier Vazquez is "without a doubt…hanging up his spikes" and retiring. Vazquez said earlier this week that he would make his final decision in a few months' time.
- GM Dayton Moore more or less confirmed speculation that the Royals will look to deal some of their wealth of prospects for a proven starter, reports Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. "There’s always a few players in your organization that you view, (where) you gotta be extremely blown away to move them," Moore said. "And I won’t get in to who those pitchers are or players. And then everybody else, you look to make deals with." As we heard last week, several of K.C.'s top prospects are untouchable.
- Royals pitching coach Bob McClure and bench coach John Gibbons won't be back next season, reports Dick Kaegel of MLB.com.
- Matt Eddy of Baseball America has this week's rundown of minor league transactions.
- Travis Hafner will be back with the Indians next season, GM Chris Antonetti confirmed to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Hafner is under contract for $13MM next season and Pluto reports that "for a while, there has been a feeling among the Indians string-pullers that if Hafner's production ever dropped low enough, ownership might be willing to eat a part of the contract."