If you have been holding out hope that the Reds will be able to lock up right-hander Homer Bailey, it’s time for a dose of reality. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, there’s “an enormous gap” between the Reds’ last offer and what Bailey wants in a long-term deal.
Bailey, who turns 28 in May, is currently on track to hit free agency next offseason. He requested $11.6 million and was offered $8.7 million from the Reds when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, so the two sides have apparently discussed both one-year and multi-year scenarios in recent weeks.
While Bailey dealt with injuries and disappointment early on in his career, he owns a 3.58 ERA over the past two seasons and has thrown two no-hitters along the way. Assuming he can stay healthy this year, he should have a good chance of landing a $100 million contract on the open market. There’s a school of thought that the Reds would be better off dealing Bailey by Opening Day if they can’t work out an extension, but there’s no indication that they are are considering such a move right now.
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.