World Series media day gave us a bit of a look behind the curtain at the planning that is going into the early portion of this year’s series. We still don’t have full and final 25-man rosters for the Astros and Nationals, but their respective managers did discuss a few major tactical decisions that have already been made. Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com and Jake Kaplan of The Athletic were among those to cover the festivities; all links below are to their Twitter feeds.
- There aren’t any surprises in terms of the initial pitching plans. The Nationals will roll out a rested Max Scherzer for the first game tomorrow night. As a prize for eliminating the Yankees in six games, rather than taking it to a seventh, the Astros will be able to counter with their top option in Gerrit Cole. The second match-up of the series will be just as compelling, with the Nats starting Stephen Strasburg and the ’Stros going with Justin Verlander.
- After that? You might presume that each team will turn to its third starter — in each case, a hurler that would feature as an ace on quite a few other staffs around the game. Houston manager A.J. Hinch committed to utilizing mid-season trade acquisition Zack Greinke to open game three. But D.C. skipper Davey Martinez says he’s not going to name a starter yet for the first contest back in the nation’s capital. Does that mean that southpaw Patrick Corbin might be utilized in relief in Houston, as he has on several occasions already in the postseason? Martinez said we’ll just have to wait and see how things unfold.
- It remains to be seen whether either team will end up utilizing a fourth starter to open any contests. The Nats can perhaps have some added confidence in Anibal Sanchez after watching him nearly no-hit the Cardinals in the NLCS, though tip-toeing through an exceptionally potent Astros lineup would be another thing entirely for the wily veteran. It’ll also be a wait-and-see situation for the Houston organization, with Hinch saying Brad Peacock, Jose Urquidy, or some other pitcher could be tapped to open a game that will likely feature quite a few pitching changes.
- The availability of a designated hitter slot will open some opportunities for the Nats in games one and two. The club is planning to place veteran Howie Kendrick in the bat-only slot, Martinez suggested. Kendrick has stung the ball all year long and thrived in big situations in October, but he has also hurt the Nationals with the glove at times. Meanwhile, Hinch says the Astros will be sticking with young slugger Yordan Alvarez — at least for the first two contests. Whether or not he’ll be installed in left field once the series moves to D.C. could depend upon who’s starting game three — and whether Alvarez can break out of the 1-for-24, 12-strikeout skid he left in the championship series.
- In terms of a formal roster announcement, that isn’t yet available. The Astros, in particular, are waiting until the last possible moment. The club believes that excellent reliever Ryan Pressly will be good to go after dealing with a knee injury in the ALCS. But it’ll hold off on making the final call until checking on his condition tomorrow. Both teams figure to rely heavily upon their core players throughout the series. Each could go in a variety of directions with a few of the final roster spots — those players that may not end up being used much at all, but could end up being thrust into major roles at key junctures.
Phillies / Yankees / WhiteSox / Padres / Dodgers / Angels
Which of these team is likely to sign Cole or is there another mystery team out there?
Friedman doesn’t like mega deals, and Cole will likely garner the largest pitching contract in MLB history, so cross the Dodgers off the list. The Padres just committed to Machado and still have Hosmer on the books, all while being a small market team, so they seem unlikely.
Its likely going to be down between the Phillies, Angels, or Yankees. In reality Atlanta should be in on it as well but they’re likely looking for less expensive options.
Or the Astros could sign him as well.
Call me crazy, but don’t rule out the Nats if there is an ace to be had. They will get a good, hard look at him over over the next couple of weeks! This is even more of a possibility if Stras opts out, but I don’t think he will.
This. They could sign both Cole and Strasburg and still be far enough shy of the tax to sign a Rendon-replacement (Moustakas, Didi).
They’ve often been in on big pitchers, hence Scherzer and Corbin are Nats, so you could be right. As for Strasburg, I originally thought he wouldn’t opt out, but looking at how his contract is structured and the year he just had, I’d be very surprised if he didn’t opt out.
I could definitely see the Nats as a darkhorse. With Stras potentially opting out and Max being a FA in 2022, Cole would be the long term pairing to Corbin. I’d say it’s not likely given their top priority of resigning Rendon and ensuring Stras doesn’t leave too, but it’s not out of the realm of total possibility.
Naws he ain’t. Yall be wildin Cole gonza sign with them Angels he telling me them getting Maddon waz waz good
id assume its likely one of the first three or the Angels that get him.
In my opinion, I think the Phillies have the best chance because they’ll be willing to go the furthest. Middleton wants to win and is willing to break the bank to do it. The angels have a good chance as well depending how far they’re willing to go, I’m sure he wants to pitch out there. Other than that, maybe the Yankees jump in but we haven’t seen them jump on a big contract all too recently. But they’re the Yankees. No one else really seems like they can pull it off.
I would say probably the Angels or Padres as i dont think the Dodgers will pay out that much and Cole i believe has stated his preference is out west.. I;m leaning towards Angels as the winner with them adjusting the salary per year around when pujols contract ends which i think is in a year or two.
The wild card team is the Giants. Cole’s brother-in-law plays for the Giants & it was reported that Cole may have interest in playing with him. Whether or not the Giants are willing to give Cole the big contract remains to be seen
You mean like Machado would’ve been playing for the White Sox because of his brother-in-law? *roll eyes*
No Alvarez. Anybody else. Drop Tucker and pull up Straw.
Washington should have matched up Strasburg against Cole and Sherzer v Verlander based on my opinion about the slight mental advantage this would create.
Technically not a run-on-sentence
What nationals do with pitching staff will either make them the stuff of legends, or it will fail misaberbly. I’m not seeing any middle ground. They are really attempting a post season with like 5 or 6 total pitchers. I for one like to see unconventional approaches and attempts to win regardless of what you’re supposed to do, or what everyone else is doing. This is going to be a good one.
They kinda have too, the rest of the bullpen is not good. But they’re gonna have to use more than 6 guys this series. That just won’t cut it. Unless scherzer and stras go 9 strong each outing and they win in 4 lol
Jays payroll for next year is only about 52 mills and the front office is targeting top pitching this offseason so i hope they a least make an offer to Cole!
Hard to see Cole going to Canada on a team that’s still rebuilding barring a massive overpay.
Cole is likely to cost 220+, minimum of 7 and maybe 8 years, and will have a QO attached. Honestly. there not a lot of teams that can afford that. The Yankees didn’t get Corbin last year, not because of the money but because of the years. Whoever gives him that extra year beyond 7 will probably come away with him. Probably not the Yankees, because I don’t think they will go beyond 6. Let alone 8.
I predict 255, 7 years. Outside chance at 280 over 8.
Did Wade Miley make the WS roster?
If the Astros get creative there is still a chance Cole stays in Houston. Should not be a foregone conclusion Houston would not be in the running. One option, move Reddick 14M for 2020, for a low level minor leaguer, eat 4M of his contract, that saves 10M, move Grenkie he is owed 23M per year for 2 years from Astros Arizona responsible for the remainder, eat 3M of his contract saving 20M, now you are at 30M. Do not resign Miley or Rondon and that saves almost 9M more so now you are at 39M which leaves plenty for Cole and to resign Springer along with a lower level FA and you fill out your roster from your farm team.
You took the words right out of my finger tip
What about arbitration raises? Moving Greinke with his large no trade clause will be next to impossible, Reddick is coming off a poor season and 14 million is way too much. Whitley may be the answer to the open spot in the rotation. They have more questions in the pen than the rotation.
Not to mention that Cole is on the Payroll for $13m this year. So going to $30 a year only increases $17m. People keep forgetting this
His AAV will be 35M+. He’s hitting the open market at the perfect time. He’s an ace. He’s still in his 20s. Just had his best year. Several big market teams will be in on him. Scott Boras is his agent. Boras also is Strasburg’s agent. He’ll control the market for the two top starters, which will allow him to drive up the price. That said, I expect the Astros to be in on Cole, but Boras’ history says he’s going to the top bidder.
Astros are full of surprises. Stay tuned.
Astros in 6..