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MLB trade rumors and news: Dodgers dominate Rays to take 1-0 World Series lead

Cody Bellinger looked like his 2019 MVP self and Clayton Kershaw turned in a brilliant playoff start.

MLB: World Series-Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.

  • Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts homered, Clayton Kershaw allowed just two hits and one run while striking out eight over six innings, and the Dodgers got off to a dominant start in the 2020 World Series, crushing the Rays 8-3.
  • The Marlins have split with president of baseball operations Mike Hill. Odd considering this was the first season in 17 years that the Marlins have made it to the playoffs.
  • Speaking of a front office shuffle, after firing Billy Eppler last month, the Angels are already forming a shortlist of who they want to replace him. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that they’re assembling a growing list of candidates.
  • The Tigers have interviewed Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol for their managerial vacancy, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network. He’s reportedly one of their top candidates. The 50-year old was a strong candidate to replace Ned Yost when the Royals had such a spot to fill, but after they turned to Mike Matheny for the position, Grifol was promoted from the catching/quality control coach to bench coach.
  • The White Sox might just get zany with their next managerial hire, as they’ve received permission to interview Hall of Fame manager and current Angels advisor Tony La Russa. The 76-year-old La Russa hasn’t managed since leading the Cardinals to a World Series victory back in 2011.
  • The baseball world at large lost another legend last week as Hall of Famer Joe Morgan passed away. Morgan is the latest on a growing list of baseball legends who have passed away in 2020. In related news, 2020 is the absolute worst.
  • The Chicago White Sox were one of the league’s more fun stories in the regular season with a bunch of young talent on their roster and a surprising run to the playoffs. However, after an early exit from the playoffs, the organization felt the need to make a move and parted ways with manager Rick Renteria.
  • The Red Sox owners group might be taking the company public, in case you want to get a little piece of the action. Fenway Sports LLC is in special negations with a special acquisitions company that would bring them public, reports, Cara Lombardo and Miriam Gottfried of the Wall Street Journal. After going public, Fenway Sports would be valued at $8B, giving the acquisition company, RedBall Acquisitions, a $1.575B minority share. Don’t worry Red Sox fans, John Henry will still maintain majority control of the group.
  • Hall of Famer Whitey Ford has passed away at age 91.
  • We’ve got some important news regarding the upcoming free agency period and specifically what the qualifying offers are going to look like. The league announced last week that the amount for qualifying offers went up from $17.8 million to $18.9 million for the upcoming offseason. It will be very interesting to see how the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to impact both how many qualifying offers we see given out and, of those, how many players sign them with all of the uncertainty of free agency swirling.
  • The Reds got some less than ideal news recently as their president of baseball operations, Dick Williams, resigned. There isn’t really a sordid reason for Williams’ decision, as he just wants to spend more time with family and work on ventures outside of baseball. His former right-hand man, Nick Krall, will now oversee the team’s baseball operations department.
  • After five disappointing and cringeworthy seasons, Matt Klentak has stepped down as Phillies’ GM. The 40-year old with be reassigned a new role within the club, one that the Phillies have yet to announce and frankly we’re scared to hear. While Klentak was great when it came to blockbuster and exciting deals like Brycer Harper and J.T. Realmuto, he could never quite seem to get lasting depth in the bullpen.
  • Francisco Cervelli has announced his retirement on Instagram, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Signed by the Yankees out of Venezuela in 2003, the veteran backstop didn’t make his name in the league until 2008. After bouncing to Pittsburg and a brief stint in Atlanta, he signed a one-year deal with the Marlins last season. Cervelli slashed a career average .268/.358/.382, earning what FanGraphs has has doled out to him: a career 18 WAR.
  • Just hours before beginning their Wild Card Series with the Twins, the Astros announced that they’ve signed first baseman Yuli Gurriel to a one-year extension with a club option for 2022. They’ll be hoping he bounces back during a more normal season next year after struggling during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.
  • The Angels have fired general manager Billy Eppler, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported. Eppler had one year left on his contract after being given an extension last year. He joined the team during the 2015 offseason and was a part of many of the team’s major moves, such as signing Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon and locking down Mike Trout for an extension. While replacement talks may not start in earnest until this weird postseason is done, it will be interesting to see who owner Arte Moreno has on his mind to replace him.
  • Alex Gordon has been a critical part of the Royals over the last 14 seasons. While Father Time has really caught up with him in recent seasons, Gordon was one of main reasons that the Royals reached back to back World Series in 2014 and 2015. Now, after a long and successful career, he has decided to retire.
  • Nolan Arenado recently underwent a battery of tests to get to the bottom of his sore left shoulder and was consequently placed on the injured list, ending his 2020 season. Thomas Harding of reports that the third basemen has been dealing with this issue all season, an injury stemming from his A/C joint in his left shoulder. This clear discomfort shone through in Arenado’s slash line this year, an out of the ordinary .253/.303/.434 for the veteran slugger.
  • News that comes as a shock to no one and was pretty much just a matter of time: Astros’ Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery. This officially ends his 2020 season after making just one start, and the poor timing will almost certainly put a kibosh on his 2021 season as well, which, oh you guessed it, is the end of his contract with the Astros.
  • In an announcement that had been expected for several weeks, MLB announced that the final three rounds of this year’s postseason will be held at neutral sites in Texas and California, with the World Series being held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The biggest twist in the plan? There will be no off days for the first three rounds, meaning that teams’ pitching depth will be tested in the playoffs like never before.
  • The Mets, for several years, have been a bundle of drama and disappointment and the faces of those struggles has been, without question, their owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon who have have been widely panned for their mismanagement of the team on both financial and personnel levels. Now, after a lengthy and drama-filed period of time where they sought a buyer for the team, it appears to be set that billionaire and minority owner Steve Cohen will purchase the Mets,
  • Despite the fact that he was elected to a new four-year term last year, Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner announced that he’ll be retiring after the season. This seems like bad news for the future of MiLB as we know it, as there’s a strong possibility that his position will be eliminated upon his departure as part of Rob Manfred’s “One Baseball” plan — one that would give the commissioner’s office much more authority over MiLB and calls for massive contraction in the minors. While O’Conner played a major role in the growth and development of Minor League Baseball, his legacy is tainted by the fact that he very publicly advocated against minor leaguers having a right to a living wage.