Report: Bay turns down Boston's $60 million offer

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SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that Jason Bay has turned down a four-year, $60 million offer from the Red Sox and will officially hit the open market.
Not a shock, certainly. Bay was never going to accept $60 million, whether he ends up remaining in Boston or going elsewhere, and there was little reason for him to accept a deal of any kind before at least seeing what other offers are available.
As general manager Theo Epstein put it: “It’s not a surprise that a player that’s gone this far wants to see what’s out there.”
The assumption is that a) Bay would like to re-sign with Boston, b) the Red Sox are legitimately interested in bringing him back, and c) Epstein and company could turn their attention to Matt Holliday at some point if the market for Bay is crowded. Interestingly, the Cardinals have indicated that they aren’t interested in pursuing Bay if Holliday decides to leave St. Louis, so the left fielders simply swapping teams is highly unlikely.
As noted by Matthew Pouliot in his excellent, in-depth preview of this offseason’s free agent outfielders, once you get beyond Bay and Holliday there isn’t much available in terms of big bats. Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, and Jermaine Dye are the best of the rest, but all come with question marks that could have teams that miss out on Bay and Holliday instead turning to the trade market for lineup help.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.