There may be a positive development in the ongoing long-term contract negotiations between the Phillies and left-hander Cole Hamels. Or maybe not.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies “know how much” Hamels will cost annually “and are set to pay it.” But the Philadelphia front office would rather do a four-year deal and the 28-year-old southpaw of course wants more.
Hamels registered a stellar 2.79 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 32 outings last year for the National League East champions, fanning 194 batters and issuing only 44 walks across 216 innings of work. With another ace-like season, the native of Southern California could demand well over $100 million on the open market. And it’s probably a safe assumption that the Dodgers’ new ownership group is going to have interest.
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.