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Bob Melvin Rumors
Astros righty Roberto Hernandez has finally received his visa an is set to report to spring camp for a physical, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart tweets. Hernandez has a bit of catching up to do if he hopes to make the roster after inking a minor league deal earlier in the offseason.
Here are some notes from the AL West:
- A rough 2014 season for Elvis Andrus of the Rangers has left some looking askance at his eight-year, $120MM extension, which officially kicks in this season. As the Associated Press reports (via ESPN.com), Andrus says that he is ready for a better campaign after reporting out of shape last year. “This year I took it a thousand times [more] seriously than I did the year before,” he said. “… That was an offseason that I hope never happens again. In spring training I wasn’t ready.” A turnaround from Andrus would go a long way toward restoring the once-promising trajectory of the Rangers, to say nothing of his own. It would also increase his appeal as a trade chip, though Texas no longer has quite the middle infield logjam it once did.
- Coco Crisp is set to play left field this year for the Athletics, manager Bob Melvin tells reporters including Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). That shift, which was occasioned by a desire to protect the team’s investment in Crisp by reducing the toll on his body, will result in Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld platooning in center. In turn, that probably also puts an end to the notion that Oakland could look to acquire a second baseman and move Ben Zobrist to the outfield.
- While it is hard to deny (and not entirely surprising) that the Athletics got less back for Jeff Samardzija than they gave to acquire him (along with Jason Hammel), the team feels good about the young players that it picked up from the White Sox, MLB.com’s Phil Rogers writes. “Look, both of those deals are difficult,” said assistant GM David Forst. “You never like trading a guy like Addison [Russell], but Jeff and Jason filled a particular need for us at that time. Then to turn around and lose Jason and feel like trading Jeff is the best option is never an easy decision to make. Jeff is a guy who has his best years ahead of him still. He’s right at the age you want to get a pitcher. He knows his game. His stuff is without question. It was not an easy decision to make. It was part of the balancing act we are forced to make.”
The Athletics held their A's Fan Fest today with manager Bob Melvin and GM Billy Beane hosting a Q&A session. Here are the highlights:
- Melvin says second base will be an open competition between Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks while Grant Green, the A's fourth-best prospect as ranked by MLB.com, will also receive a hard look, reports MLB.com's Jane Lee (Twitter links).
- Melvin plans to continue with the Brandon Moss/Chris Carter platoon at first base, tweets Lee.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets the A's will not use any one set lineup because Melvin has multiple options depending on matchups and who's hot.
- Melvin views Coco Crisp as the starting center fielder with Chris Young moving around all three outfield spots, Lee tweets.
- Young says being reunited with Melvin is "like a breath of fresh air." (A's team Twitter feed).
- Melvin calls Yoenis Cespedes one of most talented players in the league and Beane adds he wouldn't be surprised if the 27-year-old Cuban takes it to another level, Slusser tweets.
- Beane is confident Hiroyuki Nakajima will make a successful transition to MLB, tweets Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com. In fact, Beane joked he will have a tougher transition in dealing with the effervescent Japanese shortstop.
- Beane expects their top prospect, outfielder Michael Choice, to open the season in Triple-A, unless something unforeseen happens, according to Pratt (via Twitter).
- The A's are convinced shortstop Addison Russell, last year's first round draft choice, is mature enough to be invited to Spring Training even though it wasn't part of his contract, writes Slusser on Twitter. Slusser adds this is an indication of how much the 19-year-old has wowed the front office.
The latest on both teams in the Big Apple…
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that Bob Melvin should be the Mets next manager because he "would be a calming influence in the New York storm."
- The Mets fired scouting director Rudy Terrasas according to SI.com's Jon Heyman (Twitter link). This isn't terribly surprising, new GM Sandy Alderson presumably wants his own guy in that position. ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reviews the five drafts that Terrasas oversaw and says he could remain with the team in another capacity (via Twitter).
- Bob Klapisch of The Bergen Record tweets that the rest of the Mets' front office is taking the day off as Alderson deals with his father's passing. Klapisch's source says that everyone will "compare notes" tomorrow in choosing the team's next manager.
- Brian Costello of The New York Post says that it's possible Derek Jeter's camp will not respond to the Yankees' recent three-year, $45MM contract offer, forcing the team to "come up with a new plan."
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News looks at three players connected to the Yankees this offseason (Bill Hall, Justin Upton, and Miguel Olivo) and says he isn't sold on any of them being a legitimate fit.
Ken Rosenthal's weekly Full Count video is up over at FOX Sports; here are your highlights:
- The Cubs would be taking a risk if they choose to wait for the Yankees' season to end to interview Joe Girardi for their managerial opening. Given that six to ten managerial openings may arise, other candidates such as Eric Wedge and Bob Melvin (who's interviewing today), as well as their internal candidates (Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg) could find work elsewhere.
- Boston pitching coach John Farrell's contractual clause that prevents him from interviewing for managerial openings expires this offseason. Rosenthal says he's likely to interview with at least one club. He turned down a chance to interview with the Mariners years ago, but may be a fit once again.
- Seattle, meanwhile, is also looking at Ted Simmons, Joey Cora, and others. They ultimately may prefer someone with more experience than Farrell.
- Unsurprisingly, the Mets will hire a new GM before a new manager. Bobby Valentine could indeed return, but everyone involved would need to determine exactly what his responsibilities would be. Wally Backman could also be a candidate to manage the Mets, but his managerial experience comes in A-ball. If hired, the team would need to put a strong coaching staff in place around him.
- Valentine is still a candidate for the Marlins' managerial opening, as is interim manager Edwin Rodriguez, Jim Fregosi, Tim Wallach, Bo Porter, and Simmons.
- There's still a chance that the Nationals could sign Adam Dunn to an extension, and the two sides will speak at least once more before the slugger hits the open market. At this point Dunn would require a deal at market value to return, which Rosenthal suggests could be four years, $60MM. As bad as his defense is, several metrics rate him better than Ryan Howard and Miguel Cabrera with the glove.
FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal has a new Full Count video up, so let's see what he has for us…
- The Orioles will almost certainly be the first team to fire their manager this season, and both Bob Melvin and Bobby Valentine came up in past internal discussions. Bigger jobs are in store for Valentine, but Buck Showalter might also be a candidate. Rosenthal reminds us that the team doesn't have anyone in-house with prior big league managing experience.
- The Mariners expect Cliff Lee back on Friday and Erik Bedard back in four weeks, but the focus will remain on the offense and Ken Griffey Jr.'s .238/.289/.262 performance. Rosenthal says not to expect anything to happen with him anytime soon; Seattle has five Griffey-centric promotions scheduled for the first half.
- The Braves are a logical landing spot for Adrian Gonzalez, but they're also very high on first base prospect Freddie Freeman. The last time they traded for a first baseman with a year-plus left on his contract, they basically rebuilt the Texas Rangers.
- The Nationals made a run at Jermaine Dye and had more than one conversation with Gary Sheffield's agent, but GM Mike Rizzo said those talks were just to gauge interest. For now, they're happy with the a platoon of Willie Harris and Justin Maxwell because of their defensive abilities, and Rizzo says that will remain a point of emphasis as the team moves forward.
- Rosenthal expects the Nats to get better as the season progresses. They'll be adding Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen, Chien-Ming Wang, Ross Detwiler, and Jordan Zimmermann to their pitching staff at various points this year.
Some tidbits from around baseball as we enjoy Game One of the ALCS…
- Bill Shaikin and Harriet Ryan of the L.A. Times have some ominous news for Dodgers fans surrounding the separation of Frank and Jamie McCourt: his attorneys claim he is the sole owner of the Dodgers, while her lawyers say the team's ownership is split 50-50 between the soon-to-be ex-couple.
- On the night of Stephen Strasburg's professional debut in the Arizona Fall League, Jack Magruder of the Washington Times notes that Strasburg won't pitch much in the AFL.
- Reliever Neal Cotts doesn't know if the Cubs will non-tender him, but he is just focused on pitching somewhere in 2010 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in July, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel relates a nice anecdote about Craig Counsell to illustrate why he thinks the Brewers should bring back the veteran infielder in 2010.
- MLB.com's Mychael Urban praised the young, talented and affordable Oakland bullpen in his ongoing team report card series.
- Manny Acta and Bob Melvin "have to be 1-2" for the Houston manager's job thus far, says MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (via Twitter)
The Astros are more than halfway through their first round of interviews for their open manager position, so here are a few of the items stemming from their search.
- Bob Melvin cited his experience at winning with both younger and older rosters in his interview for the Astros managerial job today, reports Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle.
- Meanwhile, San Diego batting coach Randy Ready (who interviewed for the same Astros job on Thursday) may not have the experience of some of the other Astros managerial candidates, but he argues that every manager "had to get a start somewhere".
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that former Astros skipper Garner originally contracted the team not in search of a job, but rather to endorse fellow candidate Bob Melvin.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle believes the Astros have so many intriguing candidates that they should hire three of them.