Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that the Dodgers have agreed to a contract with Jon Garland. It’s a one year deal for $5 million with $3 million in potential bonuses and a vesting option for a second year if he reaches 190 innings. Given Garland’s durability, he’s probably a safe bet to reach the option benchmark. It’s unclear what will trigger the bonuses.
Garland is probably best described as an innings eater. Yes, he was 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA last season, but that was in the best pitcher’s park in baseball. He’ll still be pitching in a good pitchers’ park, but not quite as good. He also was pretty hit lucky last year, and he could see his luck decrease a bit going forward. All of that said, the Dodgers would have killed for that kind of dependable production in the rotation last season, and unless this is a massive overpay, it’s probably a pretty good signing for L.A.
It’s also great for the Padres, by the way, because with Garland cashing in on his one year in Petco, you can bet that San Diego will only continue to be a place where starters will go cheap in order to build up their value. If the Padres are smart, they can really play that to their advantage.
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.