Here’s how everyone found out for sure that the Dodgers are starting Ricky Nolasco tonight: Zack Greinke walked into the media interview room and a reporter asked him if he’s pitching tonight, to which Greinke replied: “Nah, I don’t think so.”
And so unlike in Game 4 of the NLDS, when the Dodgers bumped Nolasco at the last minute to start Clayton Kershaw on short rest, they’ll stick with Nolasco in Game 4 against the Cardinals and go with Greinke in Game 5 on full rest.
Reading between the lines, it seems like Greinke would have started tonight had the Dodgers gone down 3-0, but instead it’s 2-1 and manager Don Mattingly knows he can turn to Greinke to stave off elimination anyway if needed.
Nolasco hasn’t pitched since September 29 and hasn’t started since September 25, when he gave up six runs in 5.2 innings versus the Giants.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.