Angels general manager shoots down rumored interest in Holliday

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General manager Tony Reagins has shot down a FOXSports.com report claiming that the Angels are among three AL teams seriously pursuing free agent Matt Holliday, saying: “He’s a talented player, but our focus is not on him right now.”
The assumption, of course, is that Reagins’ focus is on re-signing John Lackey and/or Chone Figgins after already locking up fellow free agent Bobby Abreu to a multi-year deal. “I know where both of them stand, but as free-agent players they have earned the right to see what their value is,” Reagins said.
Interestingly, the FOXSports.com report that Reagins responded to was the same Jon Paul Morosi article that I made note of yesterday. My attention stemmed from Morosi reporting that “the Yankees, who need a left fielder, are interested” in Holliday, which completely contradicted a report by Buster Olney of ESPN.com claiming that the Yankees “are not interested in signing Holliday” because “corner outfield is not a priority for them.”
Morosi suggested that Holliday was unlikely to re-sign with the Cardinals and would instead end up in the AL. He mentioned three AL teams as being heavily in the mix, but Olney disagreed with the Yankees’ inclusion on that list and the Angels’ general manager himself issued a denial about their interest. That leaves the Red Sox, which either means that Boston is now the most likely AL destination for Holliday or Morosi was just throwing a bunch of stuff out there to see what would stick.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.