Bud Selig has said that he wants to avoid having the playoffs stretch into November and because of that Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that MLB plans to start next season on Friday, April 1 rather the traditional Monday Opening Day.
Here’s more from Nightengale:
It would be the first time a majority of teams start the season on a Friday since 1905, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The regular season would end Wednesday, Sept. 28 with playoffs opening on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1. The World Series is scheduled to start Wednesday, Oct. 19, a week earlier than the last two years. It would virtually assure the World Series would not be played in November.
According to Selig “anything we could do to finish in October is what I wanted to do” and players association executive director Michael Weiner is on board with the decision.
Last season the World Series concluded with Game 6 on November 4 and Game 7 of this year’s World Series is scheduled for the same date.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.