It came as no surprise when Red Sox manager John Farrell announced this afternoon that Jon Lester will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Cardinals on Wednesday, but there could be a change in store for Game 2.
While Clay Buchholz started Game 2 of the ALCS against the Tigers, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com writes that “all indications are” the Red Sox will go with John Lackey for Game 2 of the Fall Classic. Lackey started Game 2 during the ALDS against the Rays, but he was pushed back to Game 3 for the ALCS.
Lackey tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his ALCS start and has thrived at Fenway Park all season, so it’s understandable why Farrell is considering switching things up. The Cardinals haven’t made their Game 2 starter official yet either, but NLCS MVP Michael Wacha is expected to get the call.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.