Things to know about the Series, more notes (cont.)
Manny not leaving Mannywood
Manny Ramirez is planning to exercise the $20 million player option that returns him to the Dodgers for 2010. His original plan was to shop around, but after a year in which he was suspended for 50 games, he must have realized this is his best option.
Manny's plan to stay should come as no surprise the Dodgers. Dodgers people have said all along they expect Ramirez to pick up the option.
It's interesting to look at how much he improved his lot by forcing the trade to L.A. in the summer of 2008.
Had Ramirez simply stayed in Boston and played out his old contract, the Red Sox almost certainly would have declined what was a $20 million team option in that contract. So with the extra $5 million he made this year ($25 million instead of the $20 million in the old contract), he will have profited by $25 million by forcing a trade last season.
Not that anyone condones the way he went about forcing the trade to L.A..
Webb to stay in desert for 2010
The Diamondbacks are planning to pick up Brandon Webb's $8.5 million option now that he's turned down their other compromise offers. Arizona was hoping Webb would be willing to share the "risk'' -- to accept a slightly lower guarantee with incentives that could push him past $10 million. But Webb said no to that.
The D-backs also offered to add an option for 2010, but he turned that down, too. So he'll be a D-back in 2010, but will become a free agent after the '10 season.
The Red Sox would still love to make a run at Felix Hernandez. "Everyone's available at a price,'' one AL exec said. But folks would still be surprised if Seattle traded him. Roy Halladay might be the more realistic option. Boston's offer of Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone and a positional prospect can't be repeated as Masterson is now in Cleveland. Plus, Halladay's value is expected to be lower now that only one year remains before he is free-agent eligible.
The Red Sox were thought to have offered Jason Bay about $15 million. They know they need a big hitter if they don't keep Bay, and Matt Holliday seems like an obvious target in that case.
The Cardinals' grand plan to sign both Albert Pujols and Holliday doesn't appear to be off to a great start. Pujols told them it was too early to talk. Unfortunately for them, next year may be too late.
The Mets are hiring Tim Teufel to manage their Double-A team and are planning to hire Wally Backman and Mookie Wilson, too, which is one way to honor their great 1986 team. Backman will likely manage at the Class-A level.
When respected longtime baseball man Paul Beeston couldn't find anyone better to replace him as CEO of the Blue Jays, he hired himself Tuesday, a year and a few days after he came in as interim CEO. Not a bad hire. But that shouldn't have taken him a year and 12 days.
The Mariners and Brewers are expected to be in the mix for Jarrod Washburn, who was terrific for Seattle last year before struggling with the Tigers (2.64 ERA in Seattle, 7.33 in Detroit). A knee issue is thought to be the culprit for his poor performance in Detroit.
While the Yankees are leaning to a three-man rotation, "it isn't set in stone,'' pitching coach Dave Eiland said. They may want to see how A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte come out of their starts in Games 2 and 3.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi revealed on Mike Francesa's radio show on WFAN in New York that he hasn't ruled out using Hideki Matsui in the outfield for the first time this year. Matsui needs surgery on both knees, but perhaps their consideration shows how concerned they are about Nick Swisher's slump (.167 in the postseason).
OK, now that he's been hired as Cardinals hitting coach, it's time for Mark McGwire to come clean.
MLB Truth & Rumors