St. Louis already announced that Adam Wainwright will get the Game 1 assignment and now Boston has announced that Jon Lester will be his opponent.
No surprise, as Lester started Game 1 of the ALDS versus Tampa Bay and Game 1 of the ALCS versus Detroit. Overall this postseason the left-hander has started three times with a 2.33 ERA and 14/7 K/BB ratio in 19.1 innings.
Earlier today I attempted to figure out whether the Red Sox or Cardinals have the World Series pitching edge and … well, it’s damn close. One thing that seems pretty clear to me is that Wainwright is the best starter in the series, so Lester’s performance against him in Game 1 (and possibly later in the series too) is a huge factor.
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.