MLB announces postseason schedule, eliminates off days

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Except for travel days, there will be no off days in this year’s postseason schedule.  MLB announced the postseason dates today, with the ALDSs beginning on Friday, Sept. 30, followed by the NLDSs on Saturday, Oct. 1.

In order to best separate the games for TV coverage, MLB had previously scheduled certain divisional series with extra off days.  Now all four series are set to play their five scheduled games over seven days.  That means that Oct. 1 and 4 are scheduled to feature four games apiece, though Oct. 4 would have fewer games if either ALDS ends in a sweep.

All Divisional Series games are scheduled to air on TBS.

The Championship Series games are scheduled to run from Oct. 8-17.  The ALCS will air on FOX, while the NLCS will air on TBS.

The World Series will air on FOX and is scheduled to begin Oct. 19.  If the series requires seven games, it will conclude on Oct. 27.

It will be the earliest conclusion to the World Series since at least 2008.  Last year, World Series Game 1 was played on Oct. 27.  The season ended with Game 5 on Nov. 1.  In 2009, the season ended on Nov. 4.

The Orioles seem pretty serious about moving Manny Machado

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there has been no suggestion that the O’s and their young star have worked on a contract extension, strongly suggesting that Machado will test the open market next offseason.

While the Orioles have not said much about keeping him or trading him, yesterday considerable chatter filtered out here at the Winter Meetings suggests that they are serious about trading him now in order to get more than a draft pick in return when he eventually leaves Baltimore.

Jon Heyman reported yesterday that the Cardinals were a possible landing spot, and others have speculated that, at the moment, they’re the frontrunners for his services. Buster Olney, in a development that would make people go insane, I suspect, that the Yankees have expressed interest. It seems highly unlikely, though, that the Orioles would trade Machado within the division. Even if they did, they’d likely expect a premium from the Yankees that they would be unwilling to pay, especially given that they could easily wait Machado out until he was a free agent next year and give up nothing but cash for him. A couple of days ago we noted that the Phillies had expressed interest and the Orioles were doing their due diligence with respect to their farm system.

As far as the possible parameters of a deal, Ken Rosenthal reported that the O’s hope to acquire at least two controllable young starters in return. That’s a high price for a one-year Machado rental, but it makes sense for the Orioles to ask it. For Machado’s part, he reportedly wants to return to his original position, shortstop. He does not have no-trade protection, of course, so that may be a wish that is not fulfilled.

Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior, however, he posted OPSs of .876 and .861, and he’s still just 25. All of which is to say that the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.