In September, MLB and the MLBPA announced that, in a renewal of a century-old tradition, major leaguers will be heading to Japan for an All-Star barnstorming tour that will be called, appropriately enough, Japan All-Star Series.
The All-Star Series will be played in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagoya, with an exhibition game played against the Yomiuri Giants on November 8th, followed by three games against a Japanese All-Star team in Tokyo from November 9-11, one game in Hiroshima on November 13 and two games in Nagoya on November 14-15. MLB Network will provide live telecasts of the games from November 9-15.
While a few participants were announced in September, this morning the full roster was released:
Pitching and the infield seem a tad weak. The catching trio and the outfielders, however, are pretty spiffy. Not a bad team overall.
Don Mattingly will be the team’s manager. His coaches will Henry Blanco (WSH, Bullpen coach); Fredi González (MIA, Base coach); Edgar Martinez (SEA, Hitting coach); Hideki Matsui (Base coach); Hensley Meulens (SF, Bench coach); Brent Strom (HOU, Pitching coach).
It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.
That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.