The NHL¡¯s premier outdoor event heads to St. Louis on Monday.
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Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, will host the ninth iteration of the annual outdoor game. The hosts, naturally, will be the St. Louis Blues. And the visitors will be their rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks.
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Will Ian Kennedy opt-out at the end of the year?
Ian Kennedy surprised most of baseball when he signed a $70 million deal with the Royals. But what was also surprising was that he received an opt-out clause, typically reserved for superstar mega-deal contracts. Kennedy has the option to become a free agent after the 2017 season, but he would be forgoing $49 million over three years. While next year¡¯s starting pitching free agent class is better than this year¡¯s putrid class, it is not a great one. If Kennedy continues to pitch well, he may look to join Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb, and Marco Estrada, among others, as free agents on the open market.
That history and Dayton Moore¡¯s strong belief in his team may prevent him from trading off his core players this summer, even if the Royals find themselves with little hope of contention. At least that would still leave them with draft pick compensation in many cases, although they may be forgoing more attractive trade packages for more polished prospects.