Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, Athletics bench coach Chip Hale, former White Sox and Marlins bench coach Joey Cora and Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach appear to be the finalists for the Mariners' open manager position, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal writes. The team is currently deciding whether to give Padres bench coach Rick Renteria a second interview, since Renteria's recent hip surgery would cause logistical difficulties for the Mariners. Former Mariners catcher Dave Valle is also still a possibility. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart has a long list of potential free agent targets for the Astros, who plan on raising their payroll signficantly, maybe to the $60MM range, this offseason. To name just a couple players from each category, the list includes outfielders (Marlon Byrd, Nate McLouth), relievers (Jose Veras, Francisco Rodriguez) and starters (James McDonald, Roy Halladay). McTaggart notes that the Astros won't want to commit to long contracts, and the fact that they lost 111 games last year may diminish interest from marquee free agents.
- Brad Ausmus' departure to become manager of the Tigers will leave a hole in the Padres' front office, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Bill Center writes. "Brad spent some time with me on Major League issues and personnel issues," says GM Josh Byrnes. "He was on the field for spring training and assisted in player development decisions during the season. He was a valuable sounding board when we talked about teaching philosophies or various topics behind the scenes." The Padres could also lose Renteria this offseason, should he win a managerial job with the Mariners or Cubs.