Gerrit Cole could make his New York Yankees debut as a tasty opening treat for fans, against Juan Soto and World Series champion Washington at Nationals Park.
The Yankees and Nationals will meet when the virus lag season begins next month, a person familiar with the game told The Associated Press on Saturday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there has been no official announcement.
The New York Post first reported the confrontation.
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MLB will begin a 60-game season on July 23 or 24. The schedule is still being worked out – there could be a game or two on the first day of play, or a full list.
Cole started the previous game played in the National Park. He pitched the Houston Astros past the Nationals 7-1 last October for a 3-2 World Series lead.
Howie Kendrick, Anthony Rendon and the Nationals have won the last two games to win their first championship. Max Scherzer started Game 7 and teammate Stephen Strasburg was the World Series MVP, and any one of them could start on opening day.
Cole signed a nine-year, $ 324 million contract with the Yankees as a free agent. Rendon secured a seven-year, $ 245 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Yankees and Nationals met twice this year, including New York’s 6-3 victory on March 12 on the last day before MLB halted spring training due to the virus outbreak.
Players will begin reporting to summer training camp on Wednesday: Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and their New York teammates will train at Yankee Stadium, while Trea Turner, Patrick Corbin, and Washington will train in National Park.
The Yankees hope hitter Aaron Judge has fully recovered from a rib injury that bothered him during spring training in Florida.
Longtime Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman wrote in an Associated Press newspaper this week that he is weighing his options with the looming virus.
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“I am still deciding whether to play,” he said. “When it comes to that, it’s a decision not only for me, but also for my family.”
“I have a 3 week old baby. My mother has multiple sclerosis and is at a super high risk; if I end up playing, I can rule out the idea of seeing her until weeks after the season ends, ”he said.
The schedule calls for clubs to play 10 games each against their opponents from four divisions. There will be 20 interleague games, with MLB intending for the East, West and Central clubs to stay in their region.