A scoring change with Cy Young implications has just been made. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the scoring of a fifth-inning bunt by Josh Thole has been changed from a single to an error charged to Hernandez. As a result, Hernandez has been charged with four earned runs instead of eight, lowering his ERA from 2.34 to 2.18.
Hernandez will make his final start of the season on Sunday against the Angels, his final opportunity to pad his Cy Young candidacy. Along with the now-2.18 ERA, Hernandez heads into the start with a 14-6 record and a 241/46 K/BB ratio. Corey Kluber, his stiffest competition for the hardware, won his league-leading 18th game on Friday night and owns a 2.44 ERA with 269 strikeouts (which also leads the league). Both versions of WAR, at Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, give Kluber the edge over King Felix as well.
Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.
Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.
The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.
Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.