Where are the aces going?

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There’s no CC Sabathia available this offseason, but between John Lackey, Roy Halladay and Javier Vazquez, there are at least three options available for a team looking to upgrade the rotation.  ESPN’s Buster Olney looks at possible landing pads for each of them.

There are no perfect fits, but Olney likes Lackey in Milwaukee of all places.  It actually makes sense though given their needs and the fact that they did offer CC Sabathia a lot of money last year. I suppose there’s a chance that that was a phony offer and that they’d never be willing to pay $100 million for a pitcher, but at the very least it shows some guts on Doug Melvin’s part, and guts come right after money when it comes to the things a team needs to land a big fish like Lackey.

Olney goes to to discuss the possibilities of Roy Halladay being traded to either the Rangers or the Angels. Those scenarios seem less plausible, mostly because it strikes me as more likely that the Jays would hold on to Doc until next year, hoping to leverage more out of him at the deadline than they could expect right now.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.