The Phillies announced today that the team has hired Rick Kranitz as bullpen coach and John McLaren as catching coach. Those two veteran baseball men represent the first hirings for newly-named skipper Pete Mackanin. Per the announcement, the club has already reached agreement on deals with two incumbents — hitting coach Steve Henderson and pitching coach Bob McClure — and has also asked bench coach Larry Bowa and first base coach Juan Samuel to return.
Here are a few more notes from the NL East:
- The Mets have more important matters at hand, but offseason decision aren’t far away. One such call involves reliever Addison Reed, who Marc Carig of Newsday says could be tendered a contract through arbitration. The club initially expected only to keep him for the present season after adding him over the summer, with his salary ($4.9MM this year) representing an obstacle, but Reed has performed quite well since coming to New York.
- Another relatively recent Mets bullpen trade addition who could be retained is lefty Jerry Blevins, per Carig. Though he missed most of the season due to injury, the organization has “some interest” in a reunion, depending upon how he progresses in his rehab from his most recent forearm fracture.
- Mets manager Terry Collins has told friends he’ll most likely be hoping for a two-year contract this winter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports reports (in a notes column filled with other bits of information). There’s little doubt at this point that he’ll be asked back, and might have enough pull to demand a longer deal, but Collins seemingly does not intend to remain in the demanding role for too much longer.
- The Mets intend to use Michael Conforto as their everyday left fielder next year, says Heyman. That’s no surprise, given his productivity thus far, but it speaks to the difficulty of clearing the way for a reunion with Yoenis Cespedes. New York also has Curtis Granderson, Michael Cuddyer, and Juan Lagares under contract for next year (or beyond).
- While the Braves are expecting somewhat less turnover this winter than last, the front office is nevertheless working hard to get ready for the offseason, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes. “We feel we’re going to be significantly better going into 2016 than we were going into 2015,” said president of baseball operations John Hart. “We have a lot of work to do as we go through the winter. We don’t know how it’s all going to play out. When we go into our meetings, it’s not like we’re facing no dollars, no options and no flexibility. Also with some of the deals we’ll be making, we won’t be trying to move away from bad contracts. That in itself will put us more in the open field running.”
- Nationals reliever Casey Janssen says that he expects a turnaround in 2016, as James Wagner of the Washington Post reports. While Wagner says that it’s unlikely the club will pick up its end of a $7MM mutual option, Janssen says he believes “you can make a case either way” for how the team should proceed. He took his share of the blame for a rough year, but noted that he often faced heavy usage. Looking ahead, Janssen expressed optimism. “There’s no doubt in my mind I’m gonna have a great season next year,” he said. “You take out the three or four games that I didn’t pitch my best I had a solid year after that. Obviously you can’t take those away. Those are real. But, there’s no doubt in my mind that the passion is there and the ability is there. There’s going to be a ton of drive there for me this offseason to not let that happen again and get back to what I know and get back to be the pitcher that I know I can be.”