The baseball world was hit with some awful news yesterday, as Cardinals prospect Oscar Tavares and his girlfriend were killed in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic.
Tavares was just 22, and only two weeks ago, he hit a game-tying home run late in Game 2 of the Cardinals’ National League Championship Series against the Giants, leading to an eventual St. Louis win.
It was Tavares’ first career postseason homer, and if not for this tragic accident, quite a few more were likely on the way. Tavares had immense talent and was considered a top-five prospect in baseball by nearly every scouting publication around.
Word of Tavares’ death spread in the early innings of Game 5 of the World Series last night, and some players on the Giants and Royals reportedly learned of the tragedy in their respective dugouts during game action. I can’t imagine having to try and focus on a ballgame while processing the loss of a 22-year-old who many of these players knew on a personal level.
Very sad stuff.
Meanwhile, Madison Bumgarner just kept plugging along last night, putting up zeros and making postseason shutouts look routine, when we all know they’re anything but.
Bumgarner delivered his second four-hit shutout of the playoffs, and now has a 1.13 ERA and 0.671 WHIP this postseason.
In four career World Series starts, spanning 31 innings, Bumgarner has allowed just one earned run on 12 hits. That’s an 0.29 World Series ERA.
A possibly painful reminder - the Nationals actually beat Bumgarner in Game 3 of the NLDS. Their lone postseason win came against a pitcher who is quickly establishing himself as one of the better postseason hurlers in history.
Because the left-hander has accomplished this much and is so poised, you forget that he’s just 25. Remarkable.
Now that the Fall Classic is potentially one game away from being over, the official start of the offseason is closing in on us. The first offseason deadline that teams and players will have to deal with comes three days after the World Series; that’s when the decision on options for 2015 are due.
LaRoche and Soriano’s options are not expected to be picked up, while Span’s is.
Five days after the World Series, teams must decide whether to extend qualifying offers to their free agents. This year, the qualifying offer will be set at $15.3 million for a one-year deal.
The Nats are unlikely to extend the qualifying offer to any of their free agents this time around, meaning LaRoche, Soriano and Asdrubal Cabrera won’t have any draft pick compensation attached to themselves this offseason.