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Bo Porter Rumors
The Tigers won the three-way Curtis Granderson deal with the Yankees and Diamondbacks, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. With Granderson fighting through an injury-riddled season and Ian Kennedy now in San Diego, Max Scherzer and Austin Jackson have been crucial contributors to what is extremely likely to be a division-winning season for Detroit. The Tigers have also acquired Miguel Cabrera, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez via trade, Sherman points out.
"I learned not to care what others thought, only what we thought," says GM Dave Dombrowski. "The guys who are ranking, they have never seen our players." Sherman argues that one key to Dombrowski's success as a trader has been his willingness to deal his prospects. Also, Dombrowski isn't concerned with fleecing the other team, and is willing to give good value to get good value, Sherman says, citing this summer's swap of Avisail Garcia for Jose Iglesias (part of the Jake Peavy deal) as an example. "We didn’t want to trade Avisail Garcia," says Dombrowski. "We think he is going to be a very good player. The question for us is how good is the player we are getting back. We think Jose Iglesias is going to be a very good player, too." Here are more notes from the American League.
- In the wake of the death of owner Hiroshi Yamauchi, the Mariners' future is uncertain, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports writes. One possibility might be the return, in some capacity, of former GM Pat Gillick, who currently works for the Phillies. "People here think very fondly of him,” says Scott Weitz, a sports law attorney from Seattle. "I don’t think anybody would be disappointed if he took on a role with the team." It's also unclear whether Yamauchi's stake in the team will be sold — his 55% of the team is now controlled by Nintendo of America.
- Manager Bo Porter will be back for the Astros in 2014, although it's unclear what will happen to his field staff, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets. The Astros have suffered through a 51-101 season, but it isn't as if a large percentage of the Astros' struggles can be pinned on their manager or his staff — 2013 was clearly a rebuilding year.
The Royals' trade for Ervin Santana was the best move of the offseason, ESPN's Buster Olney writes. Santana has posted a 2.97 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in a resurgent season in Kansas City. Right behind the Santana deal, Olney says, was the Braves' deal for Justin Upton and Chris Johnson, followed by the Orioles' signing of Nate McLouth. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.
- Olney's ESPN colleague Jerry Crasnick writes about Francisco Liriano's surprising season with the Pirates. Sure enough, just hours after Crasnick's article was published, Liriano allowed ten runs against the Rockies at Coors Field. But he has still been a big part of the Pirates' stellar year, and for very cheap — Liriano has a complex contract based on the timing of his return from a broken humerus suffered last offseason, but the deal tops out at $4.75MM for 2013, and includes a reasonable vesting option for 2014. Crasnick also names the Rays' James Loney, the Mets' Marlon Byrd, and others as being among the best cheap signings of the offseason.
- Astros manager Bo Porter isn't planning on returning to Washington to manage the Nationals after Davey Johnson retires at the end of the season, Brian McTaggart and Chris Abshire of MLB.com report. "I'm the Houston Astros manager," says Porter. "I'm 100 percent entrenched into getting our situation here to where it is we want to be. The situation in Washington is completely out of my hands and — I'm going to give you my famous one — out of my jurisdiction." Porter is in the midst of a multi-year contract with the Astros, McTaggart and Abshire note, and could only leave for the Nats if the Astros decided to trade him or just let him depart. Neither scenario seems likely, however.
- Jeff Samardzija has struggled recently, but the Cubs don't think his contract situation has anything to do with it, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Samardzija allowed nine runs on Thursday against the Phillies, four starts after allowing nine against the Angels. "We’ve had some dialogue at different times, but nothing’s really changed on that front, so I don’t see why he would start pressing now as opposed to other times," says Cubs GM Jed Hoyer. Before the non-waiver trade deadline, Samardzija's name occasionally appeared in trade rumors, but it never looked particularly likely that the Cubs would deal him. The two sides reportedly will discuss a contract extension after the season is over. Samardzija is eligible for free agency after 2015.
General manager Jeff Luhnow told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that he can envision manager Bo Porter leading the Astros for a long time. “He could be one of those guys who is an Astros manager for decades, not just years,” Luhnow said of Porter. “The players knowing that this is the group that’s going to be here — it begins to lay the foundation for stability, which is really what we’re looking for.” The Astros hired the 40-year-old Porter after the 2012 season.
Here are more notes on the Astros and Texas’ other team, the Rangers…
- Earlier today MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reported that the Astros will take a look at Brennan Boesch (Twitter link). The Tigers released the outfielder this morning.
- The Rangers are high on Jurickson Profar, but it's still not clear what his role will be in 2013, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. The Rangers would "not necessarily" need an everyday role for Profar to justify keeping him on the roster in the view of manager Ron Washington. That said, a Triple-A assignment hasn’t been ruled out. Here's a look at service time considerations for top prospects such as Profar.
- George A. King III of the New York Post reported today that the Rangers are watching Joba Chamberlain.
The Astros officially named Bo Porter their next manager today, publicly endorsing his experience and leadership skills. "He brings an energy to the clubhouse that is contagious and a teaching and motivating style that is appropriate for players of all ages and tenures," GM Jeff Luhnow said in a statement from the team. Here are more managerial notes from around MLB, starting with Porter and the Astros…
- The Astros will wait until Porter finishes his season with the Nationals before making any decisions about the coaching staff, writes Clark Goble of MLB.com. Porter will also be among those involved in the construction of the staff, according to Luhnow. Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco will have a role with the club, but it's not yet known what that will involve.
- The Astros considered a long list of candidates for the position before interviewing nine candidates, narrowing the list to four finalists and selecting Porter. Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco was another finalist for the position, according to the team.
- The Nationals allowed Porter to meet with the Astros despite his obvious value in D.C., general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement issued by the team. “He is smart, talented, and as fiery a competitor as there is in the game today,” Rizzo said.
- The Marlins talked extensively about Porter, a former Miami coach, as a possible replacement for Ozzie Guillen, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
- Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington hasn’t officially said that Bobby Valentine will be dismissed at the end of the regular season, but he discussed the logistics of searching for a manager in an appearance on WEEI’s the Dennis & Callahan show (transcript via Kirk Minihane). “One of the things, as I look back at last offseason, that didn't go perfectly was simply the amount of time that we spent on the manager search and what that did to the rest of the offseason. I would like to spend less time on it this offseason, that's for sure." Though Cherington didn’t quite say Valentine is getting fired, there’s not that much room for interpretation here.
THURSDAY: The Astros officially announced that they've agreed to hire Porter.
WEDNESDAY: The Astros will name Nationals third base coach Bo Porter their new manager on Thursday morning, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Porter will remain with Washington until they complete their postseason run.
Porter, 40, has no managerial experience at the Major League level but has previously interviewed for the position with both the Marlins and Pirates. He's served as the Nats' third base coach since last season after holding the same position with he Diamondbacks in 2010. Porter served as Kirk Gibson's interim bench coach for part of that season as well.
Houston fired manager Brad Mills last month and has been run by interim manager Tony DeFrancesco since. GM Jeff Luhnow interviewed several candidates in recent weeks, including Rays bench coach Dave Martinez. DeFrancesco was also considered for the job on a full-time basis.