Chris Iannetta’s contract included a $5 million mutual option for 2013, but the 29-year-old catcher and the Angels have torn that up and agreed to a new three-year, $15.5 million deal that runs through 2015.
Iannetta fell out of favor in Colorado and was traded to the Angels last November for Tyler Chatwood. He missed three months in the middle of the season with a fractured wrist, but played well after returning with a .258 batting average, six homers, and a .741 OPS in 53 second-half games.
His overall numbers weren’t great, but that was to be expected once Iannetta was no longer calling Coors Field home for half his games and a solid defensive catcher with a .338 on-base percentage and a little pop is definitely starting-caliber.
Iannetta sticking around for the next three seasons is bad news for 24-year-old prospect Hank Conger’s chances of ever being the Angels’ starting catcher and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the former first-round pick shopped this offseason.
The Dodgers and Astros have selected their starters for Game 1 of the World Series. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will open the series for the Astros, while fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the first of two home games at Dodger Stadium.
Keuchel, 29, has been a steady presence for the Astros this postseason. He clinched Game 2 of the ALDS with 5 2/3 innings of one-run, seven-strikeout ball against the Red Sox and returned for his second postseason win with seven scoreless innings against the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. He was outmatched in Game 5 of the Championship Series, however, scattering four runs and eight strikeouts across 4 2/3 innings while the Yankees worked their way up to a 5-0 shutout. Nevertheless, he’s perhaps the Astros’ strongest arm behind ALCS MVP Justin Verlander and has not surrendered a single home run in 17 1/3 consecutive innings this postseason.
Kershaw, on the other hand, has had a less consistent track record in the playoffs. While his postseason yips have been well-documented thus far, his struggles on the mound haven’t always led to disaster — at least not this time around. The Dodgers are 3-0 in all three of Kershaw’s starts this month and enjoyed a quality start from their ace during Game 5 of the NLCS last Thursday. The 29-year-old southpaw recorded his second win of the playoffs with a run, three hits, a walk and five strikeouts over six innings. Unlike Keuchel, he’s given up a home run in each of his outings to date (and four homers in Game 1 of the NLDS).
Game 1 is set for Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM ET. The Dodgers have home field advantage through Games 1 and 2 before the series moves to Houston, and will try to capitalize on that advantage in order to extend their postseason winning streak at Dodger Stadium. They’re 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road this October, while the Astros boast a 6-0 advantage in Houston and a significantly less impressive 1-4 record away from home.