The World Series may have been an incredible finish to the 2017 season, but baseball is a 365-day business. All thirty teams had until the afternoon of November 6 to issue a qualifying offer to any of their pending free agents. The qualifying offer is a one-year deal with a value equal to the average of MLB’s top 125 salaries in the most current season. This year, the value is $17.4 million.
The World Series may have been an incredible finish to the 2017 season, but baseball is a year round business. All 30 teams had until the afternoon of November 6 to issue a Qualifying Offer to any of their pending free agents. The Qualifying Offer is a one year deal with a value equal to the average of MLB’s top 125 salaries in the most current season. This year, the value is $17.4 million.
After a year in which he notched a stellar K-BB% of 24.1 percent, Brandon Morrow fashioned himself into the most trusted reliever in the Dodgers bullpen not named Kenley Jansen. Morrow has appeared in 12 of the Dodgers 13 games this postseason, including every single game of the World Series. If 2016 was the year of bullpen usage in the highest leverage situations, 2017 has been the year of bullpen usage, period. Much has been made of the idea that “bullpenning” games work in the playoffs after Joe Girardi used his bullpen to shut the Twins down in the AL Wild Card Game. While a team with viable pitching depth, such as New York or Houston, can afford to pull their starters after two times through the order, let’s consider the toll bullpenning takes on individuals who are heavily counted on.
After stymying the Yankees offense over the course of four shutout innings in the decisive Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, questions have arisen regarding Lance McCullers. Is he durable enough to be a starting pitcher? Is he effective enough over the course of a game to be a starting pitcher? If the answer to either or both of those is no, does that mean McCullers will end up being a reliever who can go multiple innings?
After a record-setting rookie season that may earn him the American League Most Valuable Player award, Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge has put himself in the record books in the postseason. The record he broke? Most strikeouts in a postseason series. Judge managed to do that in the five game ALDS against the Indians, striking out 16 times in only 20 at-bats. It’s incredible that he struck out 80% of the time in that series, and he’s continued that trend into the ALCS as well. Through five games, Astros pitchers have struck out Judge eight times in 16 at-bats, which is good for a 50% strikeout rate. Overall, he’s running a 60% strikeout rate in the playoffs, and yet he somehow has put up a .847 On Base+Slugging% (OPS).
After an impressive win in the American League Division Series against the Indians, Joe Girardi is a good manager again! Like many baseball fans were last Friday after Game 2, we will be playing “manager” as the Yankees set themselves up for the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros. There are a quite a few things to consider, but before we do, let’s have New York’s ALDS roster on hand for reference: