Clayton Kershaw adds one year to his deal
The first big story of the offseason was what Clayton Kershaw would do with his opt-out looming, and how the Dodgers would react to that decision. From the very beginning, the most likely outcome would be an extension to tack some years and money onto the final two years of his contract, and that’s exactly what happened. On Friday, the future Hall of Famer and Los Angeles agreed to a new three-year, $93 million deal. Technically speaking, the final two years of his original contract were ripped up and this new deal was signed, but in reality the Dodgers just added another year onto the end of it worth $31 million. This is interesting, and I thought it was going to be at least two years added on. That being said, while Kershaw is an all-time great and is still very good, he wasn’t really Clayton Kershaw last year and it’s not clear if that guy is coming back. As far as how this affects the Red Sox, well, it mostly doesn’t. If they didn’t agree to a deal, the Yankees likely would have been in play, so now that won’t happen. It’s something!
Seven players receive qualifying offers
Friday was the deadline for teams to extend the $17.9 million qualifying offer to impending free agents, and by the deadline seven players received such offers. Remember, players who changed teams midseason couldn’t be extended the offer, so Manny Machado (and others) are not included here. The seven players were: Craig Kimbrel, Bryce Harper, Dallas Keuchel, Hyun-Jin Ru, Yasmani Grandal, Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock. We’ll talk about Kimbrel in his own post in a bit, but looking at the list as a whole there are only a couple guys I could see accepting the offer. Remember, the new CBA made sure that players can’t be extended the offer twice, so if a player accepts this year they can hit the market unencumbered next winter. Anyway, Ryu is the most likely to accept the deal, and Pollock’s injury history makes him an interesting case.
Rangers hire Chris Woodward as manager
The Rangers are the latest team to hire a new manager, as they reportedly brought on Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward Friday night. You may remember Woodward more from his playing days, as he most of the early-aughts with the Blue Jays and actually played 13 games with the Red Sox in 2009, which is a thing I do not remember. Woodward doesn’t have a ton of managing experience, but he’s been coaching since his retirement and did manage Team New Zealand in the World Baseball Classic. The Rangers are an interesting team to me with a lot of fun talent on the position player side of things, but they need an overhaul on their pitching staff to truly compete next year. This hiring leaves Baltimore as the last team without a manager.
Indians may listen on trade offers
The Indians are one of the most talented teams in the league, and anything they do is worth keeping an eye on for Red Sox fans. On Friday, rumors started to swirl that Cleveland was going to listen to offers on any and all veterans on the roster. According to said rumors, the only players who are definitely staying put are Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. Because duh. This is big news as the Indians have a lot of big-time pieces including but not limited to Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Edwin Encarnacion. All excitement aside, ask an Indians fan and they aren’t putting too much stock into this. The front office apparently floats this out every winter and nothing is done. That’s not to say this won’t be the winter that changes things, particularly are the top of the American League should only get better, but this is more of a wait-and-see type deal.