Jennings Likely To Return To Marlins Front Office; Team To Interview Bowa For Manager

8:28pm: A pair of tweets from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale suggests Jennings might return to the Marlins’ front office, but not in the GM position. The Marlins could make Berger GM, with Jeff McAvoy as assistant GM, Arnold as player personnel director and David Keller as pro scouting director. Jennings would then occupy some other position.

8:08pm: The Phillies have granted the Marlins permission to interview bench coach Larry Bowa for their manager position, Jim Salisbury of writes. Bowa is expected to interview on Monday,’s Joe Frisaro tweets. Bo Porter and Manny Acta have already interviewed for the job. In addition, Frisaro reports that Dan Jennings, who posted a 55-69 record as the team’s manager following the firing of Mike Redmond earlier this season, is expected to return to the Marlins’ GM job.

As of yesterday, Jennings was still deciding whether to accept a return to the Marlins’ front office. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported that the team’s front office would undergo changes, with assistant GM Mike Berger taking over something resembling a GM position. The Marlins also recently interviewed Rays director of player personnel Matt Arnold about a front office position. It has lately appeared that Jennings’ power in the organization was somewhat diminished. If Jennings does return to the GM position, it’s not clear how the Marlins will manage their decision-making process given the presence Jennings, Berger and other front-office voices.

Bowa, 69, was previously the manager of the Padres and Phillies. He led the Phillies to a 337-308 record from 2001 through 2004 and won the NL Manager of the Year award in 2001. He also served as a base coach for the Yankees and Dodgers and as an analyst for ESPN and the MLB Network before rejoining the Phillies organization in 2014.

Angels To Name Billy Eppler GM

The Angels will announce tomorrow that Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler will be their next GM, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Eppler will replace Jerry Dipoto, who resigned in July.

The Angels were, of course, eliminated from playoff contention today, so they won’t be playing the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal noted yesterday that the possibility of an Angels/Yankees matchup might be one reason the Angels were waiting to officially hire a top Yankees executive.

The Angels had been connected to a number of other candidates, including Dodgers executive Josh Byrnes (who had reportedly been the other top candidate), Red Sox assistant GM (and now GM) Mike Hazen, Blue Jays assistant Tony La Cava, Indians VP of player personnel Ross Atkins, Rangers assistant Thad Levine, Mariners farm director Chris Gwynn, and internal candidates Hal Morris, Matt Klentak and Scott Servais. Several reports, however, had previously named Eppler as the front-runner.

Eppler worked as a scout in the Rockies organization before being hired by the Yankees in 2004. In 2005, the Yankees promoted him to director of pro scouting, and he became assistant GM following the 2011 season. He had long been considered a future GM, and he interviewed for the Angels job in 2011 before it was ultimately awarded to Dipoto. Last year he interviewed for the Padres GM position, and he was also a potential candidate for the Diamondbacks job that went to Dave Stewart, although he declined to formally interview for that position. Eppler is a native of San Diego.

Eppler, 40, is generally regarded as likely to be statistically savvy, although he also has a scouting background, and it’s difficult to tell how a GM might make decisions until he or she actually becomes a GM. “He checks all the boxes,” Brian Cashman said of Eppler last year. “He’s got the analytics side checked off, he’s got the administrative side checked off and he’s got the scouting side checked off. He’s got the leadership side checked off because he’s a great communicator.”

Eppler will inherit a situation in Los Angeles that is in some ways envious and some ways not. Tension between Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia led to Dipoto’s departure, and the fact that Scioscia remained while Dipoto left suggests that Eppler will have to find a way to work with Scioscia, regardless of any differences that might arise. Owner Arte Moreno has a reputation for being heavily involved with baseball decisions. Also, the Angels don’t have a particularly strong farm system.

On the other hand, he Angels won 85 games this season and have a relatively strong talent base led by one of the one or two best players in baseball in Mike Trout. That’s a rare starting point for an incoming GM. Eppler will also have access to a big budget, as Moreno has rarely been shy about spending on top-tier free agents.

Padres To Hire New Manager To Replace Pat Murphy

The Padres have formally announced that interim manager Pat Murphy will not return to the team as manager next season, and that they’ll look for a new manager to take his place. The decision was widely expected, with a report last night indicating that the team was already considering former star Phil Nevin for the position.

Following a splashy offseason, the Padres got off to a disappointing 32-33 start and fired longtime manager Bud Black. Murphy took over in June and didn’t fare any better, going 42-54 as the team fell further out of contention. 2015 was Murphy’s first season as a big-league manager. Previously, he’d served as a head coach at Notre Dame and Arizona State before joining the Padres organization in 2010 and serving for several years as a manager in the minors.

It’s currently unclear whether Murphy will stay with the organization in some capacity. If he doesn’t, the Brewers might well have interest in him — as Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel notes (Twitter links), new Brewers manager Craig Counsell tried to hire Murphy earlier this season.

GM A.J. Preller will now have the opportunity to hire a manager for the first time. The Padres finished 74-88 after Preller traded away a number of top prospects to remake them last winter, and now they face the departures of Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy. One would think that the Padres manager position would not be a highly desirable one at this point, except insofar as any of the 30 managerial positions are desirable.

MLBTR Originals

A look back at the original reporting and analysis found on MLBTR the last seven days:

  • In the most recent edition of the MLBTR Mailbag, Steve Adams fielded questions on Carlos Beltran‘s Hall of Fame credentials, managers who could get canned, the Tigers’ late-inning needs, and more.  You can submit questions for the mailbag at any time throughout the week via email –
  • Mark Polishuk ran down three major offseason needs for the White Sox.
  • If you missed out on this week’s chat with Steve, you can get caught up with the transcript.
  • Recently, MLB Trade Rumors launched a brand new official Instagram account:@TradeRumorsMLB.  Each day, we’re€™ sharing conversation-inspiring images about the hottest topics in baseball.  From there, we invite you to give us a like, weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section, and even share the link with a friend.  So, what are you waiting for?  If you don’€™t have an Instagram account, this is the perfect excuse to sign up and get one.  Follow us on Instagram today!
  • On Sunday morning, we ran down the best blog posts from around the web in Baseball Blogs Weigh In.

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NL East Notes: Phillies, Biddle, Nats, Williams

The Phillies haven’t won much in 2015, but they have won the race to the bottom, as Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.  For the first time since 1998, the Phillies will pick No. 1 in the amateur draft and while there isn’t a slam-dunk top choice, it never hurts to have the top pick.  The Phillies will also get the largest bonus pool in the international signing period, which will aid them in the long term.

Kaplan notes that this will be the first No. 1 pick for incoming Phillies president Andy MacPhail. The highest he ever drafted was No. 2 when he was with the Cubs in 2001 – he used that selection to take right-hander Mark Prior.

Here’s more out of the NL East..

  • Phillies interim GM Scott Proefrock announced that former top prospect Jesse Biddle has suffered a torn UCL, as Kaplan tweets.  The left-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery on October 14th.  Biddle was rated as the No. 71 prospect in the country by Baseball America prior to the 2014 season, but his struggles through multiple levels of the Phillies’ farm system knocked him out of the top 100.  Things weren’t much better this year for the 23-year-old (soon-to-be 24), as he pitched to a 4.95 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 24 outings between Double-A and Triple-A.
  • Despite talk that he’ll be ousted as Nationals manager, Matt Williams says that no one in the front office has talked to him about his job status, as Bill Ladson of writes.  Jon Heyman of recently reported that Williams is all but certain to be fired after the season while a source says that GM/president of baseball ops Mike Rizzo is safe.
  • Rizzo says that the front office will meet tomorrow and that decisions will be made “sooner rather than later,” as Mark Zuckerman of tweets.  The GM added that he doesn’t “want anybody twisting in the wind.”

AL East Notes: Buehrle, Blue Jays, Red Sox

On Saturday night, Indians pitcher Corey Kluber gave the Red Sox a reminder of what they’re missing, Timothy Britton of The Providence Journal writes.  The reigning AL Cy Young winner is the type of frontline pitcher that Boston will seek this winter and interim manager Torey Lovullo fully understands how important a strong ace is to a ball club.

When a pitcher of his caliber starts working, getting in a rhythm, and has that special day going, it’s going to be a long day for the offense,” Lovullo said. “He was feeling very good and wasn’t throwing any pitch in the middle of the zone.”

Here’s more from the AL East..

  • Mark Buehrle‘s short start against the Rays today could wind up being his last, an MLB source tells Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM (on Twitter).  While the Blue Jays are advancing to the playoffs, Buehrle is not expected to be a part of the team’s postseason roster.  Buehrle, 37 in March, tried to go two innings today in order to notch his 15th straight year of 200 innings pitched.  However, a rough start and bad defensive play led to Buehrle getting the hook before the end of the first.  Heading into today’s game, Buehrle owned a 3.82 ERA with 4.1 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9.  Since August 1st, however, the veteran has posted a 4.92 ERA and a ghastly 5.67 ERA across his last five outings.
  • Matt Silverman overhauled the Rays after taking over last year but he expects things to go a little bit differently this winter, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes.  “We are champing at the bit for a ‘normal’ offseason during which we can focus all our efforts on advancing the organization,” Silverman said. “One byproduct from last offseason was the emergence of many new thoughts and ideas, and now is the time to fully explore them.”
  • John Farrell’s battle with cancer has forged an even stronger bond between him and Lovullo, as Gordon Edes of writes.
  • On Sunday morning the Red Sox announced that Farrell will be back as manager in 2016. Lovullo, meanwhile, will return as bench coach for 2016 and will not pursue any managerial openings this winter.

Marlins Rumors: Cueto, Leake, Cespedes

In his Sunday column, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has a number of noteworthy Marlins items.  Here’s a look at some of the highlights..

Giants, Eddy Julio Martinez Agree To $2.5MM Deal

The Giants and highly-touted center field prospect Eddy Julio Martinez have reached agreement on a $2.5MM pact, according to’s Jesse Sanchez (on Twitter).

Martinez, regarded by some as the top free agent on this year’s international market, has flown under the radar of late after generating quite a bit of buzz late in the spring and early this summer. It was written on multiple occasions that the 20-year-old center fielder was expected to command a bonus in excess of $10MM, but he will reportedly sign a deal worth only 25% of that.  The Giants have already spent heavily enough on international free agents to incur the maximum penalties, so the only further repercussion they’ll face with the Martinez deal is further luxury taxation.  Their high-priced class includes $6MM shortstop Lucius Fox, who is also rated as one of this year’s top international players.

The Dodgers, Reds, Cubs, Astros and Rangers were also linked to Martinez at various times.  As Sanchez noted in his free scouting report, Martinez has a compact and powerful stroke plus the ability to hit home runs to all fields. His speed gives him base-stealing upside, and he should be able to remain in center field thanks to good range in the gaps and an accurate throwing arm.  Baseball America’s Ben Badler (subscription only) is less bullish, suggesting Martinez’s power leads more to doubles than home runs and noting that not all scouts believe he’ll stick as a starter in center field.

Latest On Angels GM Search

11:37am: The Angels will only be hiring one GM, not a GM plus a senior baseball executive, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets.  Eppler is the most likely choice for the job, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register hears.

8:58am: Internal candidates Hal Morris, Matt Klentak, and Scott Servais are no longer in the running for the Angels’ GM job, sources tell Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).  Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava has also been taken out of consideration.

Now that the field has been narrowed down, it appears that the shortlist is comprised of Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler and Dodgers exec Josh Byrnes, per DiGiovanna (link). The Yankees believe that Eppler will get the gig, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but Jon Heyman of hears rumblings that Byrnes could actually be installed as the president to work above Eppler.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the trio of Angels internal candidates who have apparently been ruled out, as well as LaCava.  Klentak has been linked to high-profile GM jobs in the past, including the recent Red Sox and Phillies vacancies.  Servais, a former major leaguer turned assistant GM, could be lured to Seattle by newly installed Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune.  LaCava, meanwhile, has been strongly considered for GM openings in the past and he even (reportedly) turned down an offer to become the Orioles’ GM back in 2011.

John Farrell To Return As Red Sox Manager In 2016

The Red Sox announced that John Farrell will be back as manager in 2016.   Torey Lovullo, meanwhile, will return as bench coach for 2016.

Lovullo has inked a two-year contract extension with the club taking him through the 2017 season.  Surprisingly, Lovullo has “waived the right to pursue any major league managerial openings in the 2015/16 offseason” as per the terms of his deal.  Lovullo has long been considered a managerial candidate in the majors and many expected him to be a hot candidate once again this winter.

The good news within the press release is that Farrell has completed chemotherapy treatments in Boston.  Ostensibly, the announcement that he will return to managing if given a clean bill of health is another positive sign for his recovery.  The 53-year-old Farrell has served as the team’s manager dating back to 2013 — a season that saw the former Red Sox pitching coach win a World Series title in his return to Boston. He’s compiled a 218-220 record in the regular season while serving as Boston’s skipper and has also managed the Blue Jays at the Major League level.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Cubs, Tigers, Blue Jays

On this date three years ago, the Red Sox fired manager Bobby Valentine, as Leo Panetta of writes. Valentine, who lasted only ten months in Boston, led the team to a 69-93 mark, the club’s worst campaign since 1965.

Here’s this week’s look around the baseball blogosphere..

Please send submissions to Zach at

AL East Notes: Anthopoulos, Samardzija, Farrell, Lovullo, Red Sox

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos’ contract expires on October 31, but he doesn’t want his status to be a story, writes John Lott of the National Post. Both Anthopoulos and Rogers Communications have expressed a desire to continue working together. Given Toronto’s success this season, an extension seems like a formality. While Anthopoulos could potentially earn more via free agency, he says “money has never motivated me in the slightest bit.

Here’s more from the AL East:

  • Jeff Samardzija could be on the Yankees radar, writes Brendan Kuty of Kuty is referencing a previous report via CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. Kuty adds that GM Brian Cashman nearly acquired Samardzija from the Cubs in 2014, but he was outbid by the A’s. New York’s rotation will include Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, and Michael Pineda. Three of those names have battled various ailments while Severino has just 10 major league starts under his belt. Conservatively, the club should probably look to add two starters over the offseason.
  • The Red Sox are in a difficult position regarding manager John Farrell and interim manager Torey Lovullo, writes Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. Lovullo deserves to manage in the majors, but the club has committed to allowing Farrell to return once treatment for his lymphoma is complete. However, there is a chance Farrell may not be healthy enough to take over next year. Ideally, the Red Sox would love to have Lovullo available to step in. The club could opt to deny Lovullo the ability to interview with other clubs, but that’s an uncommon step in today’s game. Usually, off-field personnel are allowed to interview elsewhere if  it involves a promotion.
  • From Lovullo’s perspective, he hopes to manage again in 2016, writes Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. He’s happy in Boston, but intends to pursue managerial opportunities elsewhere if necessary. The Red Sox have responded well under Lovullo’s stewardship which should make him a popular target with other clubs.
  • The Red Sox have been one of the best teams in the second half of the season, but was it for real, wonders Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The club has a few excellent, young assets like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. Sherman highlights three big storylines to watch in Boston. Hanley Ramirez is being converted to first base, but he may be traded too. The situation with Farrell shouldn’t be left to linger too long. Lastly, the Red Sox are expected to finally acquire an ace – probably via free agency.

NL East Notes: Scherzer, Harang, Pierzynski, Matz, Ichiro

Nationals ace Max Scherzer has completed his second no-hitter of the season. The Mets fell victim to an utterly dominating outing. Scherzer fanned 17 hitters. The only base runner reached via error. The win actually has some postseason implications too. The Dodgers are now just one win away from securing home field advantage against New York. Scherzer no-hit the Pirates earlier this year. He struck out 10 in that contest. This was also the second time the Mets were no-hit (Chris Heston).

  • Phillies starter Aaron Harang has yet to decide if he’ll play in 2016, tweets Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Harang, 37, posted a 4.86 ERA with 5.72 K/9 and 2.70 BB/9 over 166 and 2/3 innings. Through his first 11 starts, he had a 2.02 ERA and 3.10 FIP, but injuries soon sapped his production. Harang will consult with his family in San Diego before making a decision.
  • Newly minted Phillies president Andy MacPhail is part of a long baseball tradition, writes Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer. His father, former baseball executive Lee MacPhail once described his son as decisive, adding “he never second-guesses himself.” The Phillies will hope that decisiveness results in a rapid turnaround after a miserable season. If you’re looking to learn more about the MacPhail dynasty, Fitzpatrick provides a thorough background.
  • Against all odds, Nationals infielder Dan Uggla won a roster spot in Spring Training and never gave it up, writes Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. Uggla didn’t earn much playing time with the Nationals. Including two plate appearances today, he’s hit .183/.298/.300 in 141 plate appearances. Uggla believes his vision and health are back to where they were in his Marlins days. While it’s unclear if Uggla will find a guaranteed contract this offseason, multiple sources with Washington praised his clubhouse presence.
  • The Braves hope to re-sign catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The soon-to-be 39-year-old had a remarkably productive season after signing a one-year, $2MM contract over the offseason. He’s hit .300/.339/.430 with nine home runs. Pierzynski figures to receive some attention in free agency, but teams may be wary of his age and reputation.
  • Mets starter Steven Matz is starting to build a reputation as injury prone, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Personally, it seems too soon to worry over seemingly minor injuries – even if they are poorly timed. However, one rival executive wondered “is he one of those guys where there is always going to be an issue?” For now, the Mets have to decide if and how they want to use him in the postseason. However, it’s possible the club could use him as trade bait over the offseason given their rotation strength. His trade value will be at a low point if rival clubs view him as an injury risk.
  • Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki aims to play 10 more years, writes David Waldstein of the New York Times. The former Mariners star has played in 150 games for Miami due to a serious of injuries in the outfield. He’s posted a .233/.286/.284 line over 431 plate appearances. Advanced defensive measures look favorably upon his performance in the outfield. While another 10 years feels like a stretch, Ichiro should receive ample opportunity to reach 3,000 hits. He’s currently 65 shy.

West Notes: Nevin, Puig, Iwakuma, Dipoto

The Padres are considering Phil Nevin for their managerial job, tweet Scott Miller of Bleacher Report. Nevin, currently managing for the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate, also played for the Padres from 1999 through 2005. Per Miller, he is “among those under consideration.” Miller also says that current interim manager Pat Murphy isn’t expected to return.

  • The Dodgers have reinstated outfielder Yasiel Puig from the disabled list, the team announced via press release. Puig will man right field and bat sixth tonight. The 24-year-old slugger has battled injury this season. The most recent malady was a right hamstring strain. He’s managed just 306 plate appearances this year. His .256/.324/.440 batting line is solid (112 wRC+) but falls well short of expectations. With the playoffs right around the corner, Puig will have two games to tune up. Manager Don Mattingly doesn’t plan to start him tomorrow, but he’ll be available off the bench, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange Country Register (via Twitter).
  • Hisashi Iwakuma looked at yesterday’s start as a normal appearance, writes Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Iwakuma, a free agent after the season, says he prefers to remain in Seattle, but he is seeking a multi-year deal. Mariners officials would also like to re-sign him, calling it a priority. Iwakuma had another solid season despite making just 20 starts. He posted a 3.54 ERA with 7.70 K/9 and 1.46 BB/9.
  • Newly installed Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has a busy offseason ahead of him, writes Dutton. The club’s farm system has failed to produce a top talent in recent seasons. For that reason (and others), industry insiders expect Dipoto to lure Angels assistant GM Scott Servais away L.A. Dipoto also has to make a quick decision about manager Lloyd McClendon and build depth. Lengthening the rotation is a stated goal so an extension for Iwakuma appears likely.

Santiago Casilla’s 2016 Option Vests

Santiago Casilla closed out the Giants win today for his 37th save. More importantly, he triggered his $6.5MM vesting option for 2016. As we learned earlier this season, Casilla needed to finish 55 games for the option to vest. He was already guaranteed a $1MM buyout if it did not vest, so he secured an additional $5.5MM today.

Casilla, 35,  had a strong season as the Giants closer with a 2.83 ERA, 9.58 K/9, and 3.61 BB/9. The strikeout rate was the best of his career. Over 496 career innings, Casilla has a 3.16 ERA, 7.94 K/9, 3.92 BB/9, and 95 saves.

Following the game, manager Bruce Bochy indicated that Casilla’s option would have been picked up even if it hadn’t vested, tweets Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Indeed, the decision was a no-brainer so long as Casilla finished the season healthy. The additional $5.5MM payment is well below market value for an established closer.