There’s been some speculation that the Rangers might take advantage of the extra day of rest provided by Wednesday night’s rainout and start young lefty Derek Holland in a potential Game 7 Friday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
But those rumors can now be put to rest.
Via beat writer Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers manager Ron Washington told the media this afternoon that Holland will be available out of the bullpen for Thursday’s Game 6 and that fellow southpaw Matt Harrison will remain in line to start a potential winner-take-all matchup on Friday night.
Holland dominated the Cardinals for 8 1/3 innings in Sunday’s Game 4 win, but he and Harrison posted similar numbers during the regular season and Washington knows better than to overreact about one great start.
The Rangers hold a 3-2 lead in the seven-game Fall Classic. They’ll be looking to end things Thursday night.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.
Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.
Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).
It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.
The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.