Bobby Valentine Rumors
The rumors surrounding John Farrell and the Red Sox won’t go away, especially now that Farrell’s Blue Jays are visiting Boston, where he coached until 2010. Farrell is the top choice of Red Sox officials to replace Bobby Valentine as the team’s manager in 2013, but he isn’t the only American League manager the Red Sox are considering. The Red Sox will turn to Angels manager Mike Scioscia if the Angels fire Scioscia and Farrell isn’t available, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
The Red Sox are expected to fire Valentine soon after the regular season ends, Nightengale writes. By that point the availability of Farrell, who’s under contract for 2013, and Scioscia, who’s under contract through 2018, should be more clear. Red Sox president Larry Lucchino told Nightengale the team hasn’t made a decision about Valentine’s future in Boston. "We'll re-evaluate it at the end of the season," Lucchino said.
Red Sox owner John Henry and general manager Ben Cherington met the team in Seattle yesterday, but they don't appear to be there to implement further changes. Henry told reporters that he doesn't plan to fire manager Bobby Valentine despite Boston's recent struggles and 62-74 record. Here are some more Red Sox-related notes...
- The Red Sox should dismiss Valentine and hire Terry Francona again, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Rosenthal makes it clear that Valentine won’t return to Boston in 2013, but reports that Francona won’t be invited back either, according to people familiar with the situation. The team’s owners will try to “lower the volume” with their next hire, Rosenthal writes. Plus, Francona could draw interest from other teams.
- Red Sox players don’t trust owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports. The players see the owners as the source of leaks and lies and they have an equally frustrated relationship with Valentine, Passan writes. The Red Sox need to dismiss Valentine before the 2013 season, Passan writes.
Brad Mills became the first MLB manager to lose his job this year when the Astros dismissed him over the weekend. More teams could make managerial changes in the coming months, so let’s check in on the latest rumors...
- Angels owner Arte Moreno told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that he’s not contemplating a managerial change. “I signed Mike [Scioscia] long-term, and I'm invested in Mike long-term,” Moreno said. “We try not to make impulsive decisions,” he added. Scioscia is under contract through 2018, but he can opt out after the 2015 campaign.
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today suggests Scioscia would be the perfect replacement in Boston if the Red Sox dismiss Bobby Valentine. And Scioscia’s job security “suddenly seems tenuous” given the Angels’ recent struggles, Nightengale writes. "It's been a tough time for all of us," Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said.
- Former MLB manager Terry Francona wouldn’t rule out managing again. "If something down the road presents itself and it's the right job, I'd like to do it," said Francona, who’s now an analyst with ESPN. "But I don't want to manage just to manage." Francona told Nightengale he’d be "shocked as hell" if Scioscia is fired.
The Marlins expected about 25 percent more fans than they’ve drawn this year, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. The Marlins are averaging 28,406 fans per game, an improvement of more than 10,000 people per game that amounts to the largest increase in the game since last year. Here are more notes from Olney, starting in Miami...
- Marlins president David Samson has said the team isn’t making financially motivated trades, but Olney suggests Miami will have to manage its money carefully to field a competitive team. This could include shedding the contracts of the team's best-paid players.
- The Marlins will likely look to dump the contracts of players like Jose Reyes at some point in the coming years, and they won’t be offered much in return. The salaries of players like Reyes and Mark Buehrle are back-loaded and will soon spike, which will reduce interest from rival clubs. Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson and Heath Bell are among the other Marlins who have significant money remaining on their current contracts.
- Olney points out that Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has as much opportunity as any manager to shape his team. Valentine shouldn’t have accepted the job if he wanted more control than he’s getting, Olney writes.
Believe it or not, Rays left-hander Matt Moore has never started a game at Tropicana Field. The 22-year-old left-hander will take the mound at home against the Twins tonight for his first Tampa Bay start. Here are today's AL East links...
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests the Yankees should use Eduardo Nunez as their primary left fielder while Brett Gardner's on the disabled list. Nunez could be part of the Yankees' future, while veterans like Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez won't be, Sherman argues.
- It's too early to bet against Boston manager Bobby Valentine, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Some rival executives say Red Sox president Larry Lucchino tried to regain power by hiring Valentine, according to Rosenthal.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America introduces readers to right-hander Drew Hutchison, who will make his MLB debut for the Blue Jays tomorrow. The 21-year-old could use some more minor league seasoning, but he's quite polished for his age and could fit in as a back-of-the-rotation starter not unlike Henderson Alvarez. The Blue Jays decided to rely on internal starting pitching options this offseason instead of completing trades or free agent signings.
Here are some notes from the AL East on the day the Red Sox officially introduced their new manager...
- The Red Sox and manager Bobby Valentine agreed on a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The Red Sox hold team options on Valentine for 2014 and 2015, tweets WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- Valentine reached out to David Cone about becoming the new Red Sox pitching coach, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link). Cone isn't expected to take the job but was "flattered."
- The Yankees turned down a request by C.J. Wilson's agent for a visit to Yankee Stadium, reports ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand. That's not a good sign for Wilson's chances of signing with the Bombers, which Marchand believes are "less than five percent."
- Erik Hahmann of the DRaysBay blog looks at the situation between the Rays and lefty J.P. Howell. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes listed Howell as one of this winter's non-tender candidates.
- The Blue Jays are still open to bringing back Kelly Johnson next year, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Also from Morosi, he thinks the Blue Jays could -- and should -- sign free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
- Eric Chavez definitely wants to play in 2012 and a number of teams have strong interest in him, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). Some West Coast teams are interested in Chavez and the Yankees appear to be in the mix as well.
- The Rays have some interest in Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, but probably can’t afford him, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Orioles hired former Phillies GM Lee Thomas as a special assistant, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com first mentioned the possibility (on Twitter). It's worth noting that Scott Proefrock and Joe Jordan of the Phillies are former Orioles front office employees.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post
Bobby Valentine will be the next Red Sox manager and baseball is buzzing about the consequences for the front office, Boston's players and the 61-year-old skipper himself. Here’s the latest reaction to the move:
- Peter Gammons of MLB.com says GM Ben Cherington and Valentine, two smart baseball people, have what it takes to work well together and turn the 2012 Red Sox into a team worth watching. "They are both so smart and so very different and need to win," Gammons writes.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney believes Valentine and the Red Sox players have an opportunity to bury the past and succeed in spite of what has been said about them. Olney reports that some Red Sox players started grumbling to each other as Valentine emerged as a serious candidate for the position.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Red Sox have put in place a formula for greatness or disaster. Valentine is "a combustible manager as likely to throw the organization into further chaos as he is to bring championship glory," Sherman writes.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the other finalist, Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, reminded some in the Red Sox organization of Terry Francona. Valentine hadn't agreed to the specifics of a deal as of last night, but the sides are expected to reach one without difficulty, Abraham writes.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan isn't sure how the balance of power will shift in Boston, but he knows Valentine, Cherington and CEO Larry Lucchino can't all have the final say on the team.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports points out that Cherington has lots of on-field matters to attend to and hopes that Lucchino lets him conduct the rest of the offseason as he sees fit.
Boston's lengthy managerial search should be coming to an end this week, as the team is expected to hire either Bobby Valentine or Gene Lamont as its skipper within the next few days. As Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes, Valentine may not be the safe choice, but the club must determine whether or not he's the best choice. Here's more on the Red Sox..
- The Red Sox have yet to make an offer to Bobby Valentine, an industry source told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.
- With perception being that ownership wants Valentine while Gene Lamont is championed by GM Ben Cherington, it would take quite a bit of fortitude from Cherington to go against the owners, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post expects the Red Sox to hire Valentine.
- Boston should convert Daniel Bard into a starter rather than a closer, argues Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Former Sox pitching coach Curt Young acknowledges that Bard "does have a starter's repertoire."
- Within the same piece, Silverman adds that Grady Sizemore's agreement with the Indians caught the Red Sox and some other clubs by surprise, as they thought there would be more time to negotiate with the outfielder.
- Bronson Arroyo believes that his former manager in PIttsburgh, Gene Lamont, could be a successful manager in Boston, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. The pitcher added that Lamont has a similar managerial style to Terry Francona.
Here's a look at a few items out of the AL and NL East..
- It would be interesting to see if Bobby Valentine's style would be any different after not managing in the Major Leagues since 2002, writes Ian Browne of MLB.com. The 61-year-old Valentine is a finalist for the Red Sox's managerial opening along with Gene Lamont.
- The new collective bargaining agreement will undoubtedly change the way the Nationals conduct business. Seven of the Nats' top ten prospects have been picked in the last two drafts and all seven of those players signed hours before the deadline for teams to lock up their picks, notes Ben Goessling of MASNsports.com. All seven of those players, including Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, got bonuses or deals well over their slot recommendations.
- In an article for ESPN.com, Doug Glanville gives a unique take on Jimmy Rollins' free agency. The longtime Phillies outfielder signed with the Rangers after the 2002 season only to be traded back to Philadelphia in July of 2003.
Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement will make it harder for teams to spend big on amateur talent, which leaves them looking for new ways to build a competitive advantage. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests clubs should invest in scouting to ensure that the money they do spend impacts the Major League roster. Here's more from Morosi on the Boston Red Sox:
- Morosi says it's more likely than not that David Ortiz will return to Boston for another season. The Red Sox offered the free agent DH arbitration in a climate that no longer rewards one-dimensional sluggers as generously as it once did.
- Bobby Valentine remains the favorite to be named Boston's next manager, according to Morosi. Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont and Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo remain in the mix as well.
- The Red Sox continue pursuing C.J. Wilson, according to Morosi. Many other clubs, including the Yankees and Blue Jays also have some interest in the free agent left-hander.