Here’s something you may have missed during the slumber of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times was told by a source that the White Sox thought only five or six teams would be interested in Mark Buehrle and that it would ultimately take a two-year deal in order to sign him. Really, now?
It’s pretty hard to believe White Sox general manager Ken Williams could be that naive, as everybody knows there are only a few quality starting pitchers available in free agency this winter. In fact, our own Matthew Pouliot has him ranked No. 7 on his top 101 free agents, with only C.J. Wilson and (potentially) Yu Darvish ranked higher.
Predictably, the veteran left-hander has drawn interest from nearly a dozen teams and Cowley hears he has already received multiple three-year offers. If this is the White Sox attempt to spin Buehrle’s seemingly inevitable exit from Chicago, it doesn’t exactly cast them in the most favorable light.
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.