The last week in MLB was about a pitcher in the National League who signed a multi-year extension, a club in the NL added a former closer to their bullpen, and the sport lost a great player.
Los Angeles Dodgers Re-sign Starter Clayton Kershaw to Three-Year Deal
The Los Angeles Dodgers kicked the offseason spending early as they re-signed starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw several days ago to a three-year, $93 million deal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Kershaw breakdown: $31M in 2019, ‘20 and ‘21, plus $1M each for 24 starts, 26 starts, 28 starts, 30 starts. Also gets $1.5M for Cy Young, $500K for second- or third-place finish.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 2, 2018
Kershaw could have exercised an opt-out clause in his contract to become a free agent but decided to negotiate a long-term deal with the Dodgers.
There was probably some level of comfort with the Dodgers for the southpaw as he could’ve tested the open market and signed with another team.
Kershaw threw the ball well for the Dodgers during the regular season as indicated by his 2.73 ERA in 161 1/3 innings with 155 strikeouts, 17 home runs allowed, 29 walks issued, a 3.18 FIP and a 1.04 WHIP.
The major problem for Kershaw is he struggles in the postseason as he has compiled a 4.32 ERA in 30 playoff games (24 starts).
He also has a 6.06 ERA as a starter when facing elimination, which is the worst in MLB history, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Clayton Kershaw now has a 6.06 ERA as a starter when facing elimination. That is the worst in MLB history (min. 4 games).
But he has some good company. pic.twitter.com/5seTpyJpfl
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 29, 2018
The Dodgers will have their ace under team control for the next three years, and, hopefully, he can help them get back to the playoffs.
Washington Nationals Fortify Bullpen by Signing Former Closer Trevor Rosenthal to One-Year Contract
The Washington Nationals made a move early in the week to strengthen their bullpen by signing reliever Trevor Rosenthal, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 31, 2018
The Nats signed him to a one-year, $7 million deal, the contract can increase to $14 million with incentives, and there’s a vesting option for 2020 worth $16 million, but he can turn it down at the end of the season, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Trevor Rosenthal’s deal with the Nationals, as @Joelsherman1 first said, is done. Guarantee for 2019 is $7M and he can make up to $14M. A reachable vesting option can take total to ~$30M. If he excels, though, Rosenthal could turn it down, hit free agency again as a 29-year-old.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 31, 2018
Rosenthal didn’t pitch last year as he was recovering from undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2017.
He did hold a showcase for teams in California earlier last month and regularly touched 98 mph, while reaching a maximum of 100 mph, per Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports.
Rosenthal was an All-Star in 2015 with the St. Louis Cardinals as he posted a 2.10 ERA in 68 games with 48 saves, yielding three homers and compiling a 2.42 FIP.
If Rosenthal can return to his previous dominant form, it would provide a huge boost in the bullpen for the Nationals.
San Francisco Giants Legend, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey Passes Away At Age 80
The baseball world lost a great person as San Francisco Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey passed away on Wednesday at the age of 80.
It is with great sadness that we announce that San Francisco Giants Legend and Hall of Famer Willie McCovey passed away peacefully this afternoon at the age of 80 after losing his battle with ongoing health issues. #Forever44 | #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/ooOYg4ESol
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) October 31, 2018
According to Steve Kroner and John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, McCovey died at Stanford Hospital on Wednesday afternoon what the team described “a battle with ongoing health issues.”
McCovey played 19 of his 22 seasons with the Giants. He was a six-time All-Star, won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1959 and was selected as the NL MVP in 1969.
He finished his career with a .270 batting average and .889 OPS with 521 home runs, 1,555 RBIs and 2,211 hits.
McCovey had a career which began from 1959 and ended in 1980. The 521 career homers by him are tied for 20th on the all-time list, but it was third-most by any player during those years, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Willie McCovey has died at the age of 80. McCovey’s career spanned from 1959 to 1980. His 521 career homers is tied for 20th on the all-time list, but was the third-most by any player during the span of years his career covered. pic.twitter.com/IDjTTJXxNl
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 1, 2018
The Giants have done something very special since 1980 with the Willie Mac Award. The Willie Mac Award is given to a Giants player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership consistently shown by the Giants legend throughout his career.
He was enshrined to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.
The first baseman left a mark on the game and will be remembered for his accomplishments on the baseball diamond.