Links for Friday, before the Giants and Padres continue an immensely important series…
- MLB.com's Barry Bloom reports that former Diamondbacks' manager A.J. Hinch is close to joining the Padres to work in their scouting department.
- David Ortiz suggested to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Rafael Soriano deserves a five-year deal. The Rays closer is having a fantastic season, but he's not going to see a five-year offer this winter.
- Mark Ellis told Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News that he wants to stay in Oakland next year. The A’s have a $6MM option for 2011 with a $500K buyout.
- At SI.com, Bud Black of the Padres tops Jon Heyman's list of the year's most impressive managers.
- Bob Young of the Arizona Republic argues that the D'Backs will have a hard time finding a better manager-GM combination than Kirk Gibson and Jerry Dipoto.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that the Pirates have a lot of promising young pitching in the minor leagues. Take a look at the team's projected 2011 rotation here.
- I didn't consider Phil Coke when previewing the Tigers' 2011 rotation, but manager Jim Leyland told Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press that the Tigers will at least consider the lefty.
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa defended the team's decision to trade Ryan Ludwick, as Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains.