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Author Archives: Dan Mennella
What began as a season that figured to have little managerial and front-office turnover at its conclusion has gone in the opposite direction over the course of a long — and for some teams very disappointing — summer, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Here's a look at the teams that could make shakeups on the bench and/or in the front office:
- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine seems very likely to be dismissed, as "everyone in baseball is sure he is a goner." Boston likes Toronto manager John Farrell as a possible replacement, but Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has reiterated that organization policy is to preclude personnel from leaving for a lateral move. GM Ben Cherington, meanwhile, appears safe, though other tweaks could be made in the front office.
- Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen's fate is up in the air, but Miami is more likely to shake up its front office. Factions have reportedly taken shape among the organization's top executives.
- The Angels came into the season with very lofty goals after spending heavily in free agency. But owner Arte Moreno is reportedly unhappy with the team's poor play, while some say GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia haven't hit it off so far, with the firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher earlier this year an apparent point of contention. The pricey balance on Scioscia's contract may make firing him too difficult, though, so his departure could ultimately be his own decision.
- Indians manager Manny Acta has a "very real chance to be fired," as Cleveland has slipped into its second consecutive second-half slump. GM Chris Antonetti, though, is probably safe, as he's well regarded and hasn't yet been on the job for two full years.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski appears to be safe, but manager Jim Leyland, whose contract expires at the end of this season, may not be brought back, as owner Mike Ilitch is displeased with the way this season is going after spending on Prince Fielder in the offseason.
- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is safe after instilling a new attitude in Pittsburgh, but GM Neal Huntington could be in trouble, especially if the team finishes under .500 for a 20th consecutive season.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi is safe despite his frustrations with his team's second-half struggles, and the "popular" GM Brian Cashman is in no trouble.
The NL West was pretty much settled entering tonight's action, with the first-place Giants enjoying an eight-game lead, but the Dodgers were very much in the Wild Card hunt, only a game behind the Cardinals. Here's the latest …
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti maintains that regardless of where the team finishes in the standings, he'd make the slew of midseason trades over again if given the chance, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "Just like the players that are traded, you can't measure this on what they do in 2012," Colletti said. "As time goes on, you can evaluate the trade for a lot of different reasons. But with ownership allowing us to be aggressive, we decided we would take chances and we would go for it.
- The Rockies are hoping to hire Marlins special assistant Mark Wiley as their new director of pitching, writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. In this role, Wiley, who previously worked for the Rockies before joining the Marlins, "would have responsibility and authority over all parts of the organization, from scouting and drafting, through development, and all the way to bringing pitchers to the major leagues."
- If you're looking for an NL MVP sleeper, Padres third baseman Chase Headley deserves strong consideration, writes Jeff Sanders of the North County Times. Headley has been on a second-half tear, leading the Majors in both homers and RBIs since the Midsummer Classic entering Tuesday night's action, to go along with 6.6 fWAR on the year. It seems hard to believe now that Headley was a trade candidate leading up the July deadline, but his stock will probably never be higher than it is heading into the offseason.
The Tigers are holding their collective breath after righty Max Scherzer exited Tuesday night's start prematurely because of shoulder pain. Scherzer, who leads the American League in strikeouts, is scheduled to undergo an MRI. More on the Tigers in this batch of links …
- The Indians are expected to decline their $13MM club option on DH Travis Hafner for 2013, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Hafner, sidelined since early August due to a back injury, is trying to get back on the field for what could be his final appearances as a member of the Tribe. With a career line of .278/.382/.508, the 35-year-old has posted solid offensive numbers when healthy, but staying on the field has been an issue, as he's missed chunks of time in each of the past five seasons.
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he is focused on his team's playoff chase rather than his own contract status, writes Anthony Odoardi of MLB.com. Leyland's deal expires after this season, but he maintains he has held no discussions with Detroit about this future: "I haven't discussed my situation with anyone nor has my situation been discussed with me. And I don't want to discuss my situation with anyone nor do they want to discuss it with me right now. We're trying to win a division."
- The Astros hope to pick their next manager by the end of next week, but they may have to wait till after then to announce the decision, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. If the selected candidate is on a team that's still in the playoffs, Houston will wait till that team's season is over, McTaggart explains.
- Astros owner Jim Crane reiterated that he's not expecting Roger Clemens to pitch this season, tweets Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
- While some consider the second-place Tigers a disappointment after a splashy offseason that saw them land top free agent Prince Fielder, Detroit has played pretty close to where some advanced metrics suggest they should be, explains Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs.
A few links of note out of the NL East, where the first-place Nationals' hunt for a first playoff berth was placed on hold tonight due to a rain postponement.
- Mets manager Terry Collins said that the organization supports first baseman Ike Davis and that there are no questions about his work ethic or receptiveness to coaching, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday. Earlier today, we heard that the Mets will be open to trading Davis during the upcoming offseason, in part because they have concerns about his commitment. Davis quickly refuted that allegation.
- Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said he expects to return as Miami's manager next season, though he understands why some are speculating about his job security, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). "At this moment everybody in the organization ought to be up in the air," Guilen said. "It's not up to me. If it's up to me, I'd love to be here." Guillen is under contract through 2015 after signing a four-year deal prior to this season.
- Phillies second baseman Chase Utley may start a few games at third base before the season is over, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Though the sample would likely be too small for GM Ruben Amaro to arrive at any definitive conclusions as to whether the switch could be made long-term, it may nonetheless factor into his offseason planning, as Amaro said the market for third basemen — via trade or free agency — is "not very good."
A few stray links to pass along as the Phillies reach the .500 mark for the first time since June 4 with a win over the Marlins …
- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche "would love to stay" in Washington, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Last week, we heard that the Nats are likewise interested in retaining LaRoche. However, the left-handed hitter is enjoying a career year and is likely to seek a multiyear contract since his 2013 mutual option calls for a salary of $10MM. Kilgore adds that the Nats will wait until the season is over to commence extension talks with their players, as the organization is focused on its impending postseason berth.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said reliever Kevin Gregg's DFA earlier today was the best situation for both the club and the pitcher, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. The Orioles needed the roster space, while Gregg may have the opportunity to start anew with a different team and pitch more regularly — as he had several long stretches without seeing game action this season — and perhaps set himself up to latch on with a team in 2013, Showalter explained.
- Gregg was nonetheless "really disappointed" to be leaving the O's, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
- Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco is a candidate to assume the role on a full-time basis when Houston conducts its interviews during the offseason, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. DeFrancesco has spent most of his professional coaching career in the Athletics' organization, which he said prepared him well for a managerial job with a team like the Astros that relies heavily on advanced analytics.
A few links of interest regarding one managerial vacancy — and two that may be open once the offseason rolls around.
- The Astros were thought to be interested in former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, who previously worked for Houston GM Jeff Luhnow with the Cardinals, though the sides have not spoken, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com (Twitter links). Houston's manager, Tony DeFrancesco, is helming the club on an interim basis following the dismissal of Brad Mills last month, while Riggleman is currently the manager of the Reds' Double-A affiliate.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti has joined the team in Texas, but he said the visit was scheduled and has nothing to do with a potential shakeup, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. When asked about the job security of manager Manny Acta, Antonetti said: "I don't feel any differently than when we talked earlier. I think I'll save any sort of assessments until the end of the season. I think that's probably the best thing to do.
- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says he's "the best man for the job" in Boston, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports. The manager said he has suffered along with Red Sox fans this year and expects to return in 2013.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
We'll keep track of today's outrights in this post …
Here are a few links out of the NL and AL West as Tuesday runs into Wednesday …
- The Diamondbacks have placed left-hander Joe Saunders on trade waivers, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Saunders, whose waiver period expires on Thursday at 12 p.m. CT on Thursday, is owed roughly $1.5MM for the remainder of the season and is slated to become a free agent in the offseason.
- The Athletics have signed catcher Jason Jaramillo to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Sacramento, according to Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com (Twitter link). Jaramillo appeared in the Majors for stints of various lengths with the Pirates from 2009-11. He owns a career big league batting line of .235/.293/.327.
- Among a handful of roster moves Oakland made today was optioning second baseman Jemile Weeks to Triple-A. Weeks burst onto the scene in the second-half of last season but has struggled mightily with the bat this year (.220/.305/.302). However, the A's don't seem to have soured on Weeks overall, as manager Bob Melvin characterized the demotion as a "blip" and said the organization still thinks Weeks has a bright future ahead, according to Pratt (Twitter link).
A few notes from the NL Central to pass along …
- Brewers outfielder/first baseman Corey Hart told Milwaukee he'd like to remain with the team beyond his current contract, which expires after next season, and is willing to play whichever position he is needed at most, writes Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Hart, slated to make $10MM in 2013, also said that if the interest in keeping him in Milwaukee is mutual, potential extension talks would be best reserved for the offseason.
- Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum, an impending free agent, is nearing a return from the disabled list and understands that he is auditioning for the 29 other Major League teams, McCalvy writes. He also notes that Marcum and the Brewers have not engaged in extension talks.
- The Cubs announced that they have transferred right-hander Matt Garza to the 60-day disabled list, and though his DL stint will expire before the end of the regular season, manager Dale Sveum added that Garza's been "shut down," according to Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com. Ending the season on the DL won't be good for Garza's trade value, but GM Jed Hoyer has said that the right-hander will be part of the team's 2013 rotation.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said he recently sent scouts to look at Roger Clemens and Scott Kazmir of the independent-league Sugar Land Skeeters, according to the Associated Press. Clemens is rumored to be mulling a return to the Majors.
A few notes out of the American League East, where the Yankees owned a four-game lead over the Rays entering Tuesday night's action …
- Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte hasn't ruled out the possibility of pitching again in 2013, writes Chad Jennings of the Journal News. "I definitely can’t tell you right now that I would say there’s no way I’m going to play," Pettitte said. The 40-year-old left-hander, who signed a one-year, $2.5MM minor league contract in March, is currently rehabbing a broken ankle he suffered in late June and hopes to return before the season's over.
- Blue Jays catcher Yorvit Torrealba said he had several suitors after being released by the Rangers earlier this month but decided to sign a minor league deal with Toronto because he'd have more playing time, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com (Twitter link).
- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine remained vague as to why pitching coach Bob McClure was relieved of his duties on Monday, according to Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald. McClure was hired last offseason before Valentine was, but Valentine said he was on-board with having McClure as his pitching coach during the interview process.