As the Cubs kick off their first World Series game in 71 years, here’s a look around the division at some of the teams that will be chasing them next season…
- Scott Schebler appears to have the inside track on the Reds’ right field job next year, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com writes. The 26-year-old bounced back after some early struggles and showed enough promise to think he’s deserving of a larger opportunity. Acquired in last winter’s Todd Frazier trade, Schebler hit .265/.330/.432 in 282 plate appearances with the Reds, tallying nine homers and a dozen doubles in that limited exposure. MLBTR’s Jason Martinez looked at the subject in his recent piece previewing the Cincinnati offseason, suggesting that the organization give him a shot while also looking to bring in some competition. Top prospect Jesse Winker could eventually push for a corner outfield spot in the Majors as well, although the 23-year-old’s power numbers dipped in Triple-A this season.
- The Pirates are set to name Joey Cora as their new third base coach, reports Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror (Twitter link). Cora managed Pittsburgh’s Double-A affiliate in Altoona this season and has several years of experience as a Major League bench coach and third base coach. He’ll replace Rick Sofield, who served as Pittsburgh’s third base coach from 2013-16 but was fired over the weekend, according to a club announcement. Cora, like his younger brother Alex, enjoyed a lengthy Major League career as an infielder and has previously been considered for managerial vacancies at the Major League level.
- MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch tackles a number of offseason questions in her latest Cardinals inbox piece, noting that despite a lackluster performance from the pitching staff this season, a significant addition seems unlikely. The free-agent market is, as has been well-documented, stunningly thin in terms of quality arms. And as far as the trade market is concerned, the team likely feels satisfied enough with its depth that it won’t feel compelled to meet the escalated asking prices that will perpetuate the trade market for rotation help. Langosch also looks at how the Cards stack up with the Rockies in potential trades and again emphasizes that the team is likely to focus on upgrading its up-the-middle defense this winter.