MLB offseason storylines: Sweepstakes for Otani are on

Seth McCaskill

Sports Blogger

@sethmcasill29

 

Cora hired as Red Sox manager, Boone a candidate for Yankees job, Mattingly returns to Marlins

As was anticipated, Alex Cora, who agreed to become the Red Sox next manager during the postseason, was officially signed to a three-year contract on Oct. 22. He was a member of the Red Sox’ World Series winning team of 2007, one of his three years spent with them as a player, so he is certainly familiar with the organization. The Yankees are also considering a former player for their managerial opening, in the form of postseason hero Aaron Boone, who would be well received as a replacement for Joe Girardi despite a lack of experience. Eric Wedge, who went 774-886 in 10 seasons with Seattle and Cleveland, was also interviewed for the job. The Yankees have also added another big name to their interview list in the form of recently-retired Carlos Beltran, so they are pulling out all the stops and making sure they choose the perfect candidate.

Otani sweepstakes underway

(beisbolsinaloa, Flickr)

Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan’s pro league, is expected to agree on a new posting system with the MLB this Friday. It will pave the way for teams to get their shot at “the Babe Ruth of Japan.” Teams expected to chase Shohei Otani are the Yankees, Dodgers, Rangers, Mariners, Red Sox, Cubs, Twins and Giants, with the first three being the best contenders. Otani’s agent, Nez Balelo, has sent a detailed questionnaire to all 30 MLB teams keying on things such as facilities, prospective plans for the star player and quality of minor league systems. This will be arguably the biggest storyline of the offseason, so it will be fun to watch how it plays out.

Astros players receive MLB-record World Series bonus checks

Every year, the World Series winning team gives out fairly large monetary bonuses to their players, but they have never been as large as the Astros this year. Each player receieved a $438,901.57 bonus check, which is the largest bonus in history by a large margin. They are certainly deserving, as this postseason was one of the most exciting ever, and the Astros had a lot of emotional motivation thanks to the tragic affects of Hurricane Harvey on Houston. Players such as Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve deserve tons of credit for helping make people interested in baseball with their exciting play styles, and they were certainly rewarded.

Fister agrees to contract with Rangers

The first somewhat high profile signing of the offseason has been made, as the Rangers signed veteran starting pitcher Doug Fister to a one-year contract worth a reported $3.5 million plus incentives, as well as an option for 2019, making it official Tuesday. He played in the Angels minor league system and in the big leagues for the Red Sox last season, pitching a 4.88 ERA in 18 appearances, 15 of them starts. That does not look impressive, but he added velocity and increased his strikeout rate toward the end of the season, so the Rangers are hoping he can continue that improvement. This is a good depth signing that can help Texas towards its pursuit of bigger free agents.

ozone@ocolly.com

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