The Cubs announced their finalized coaching staff for the 2015 season today, which included a pair of new additions: hitting coach John Mallee and first base/outfield coach Doug Dascenzo. Mallee spent the 2010-11 seasons as the Marlins’ hitting coach and the 2013-14 seasons as the hitting coach for the Astros. He also spent eight seasons with the Marlins as a minor league hitting instructor and brings to the table 19 overall years of pro baseball experience. Dascenzo spent the 2014 season as Atlanta’s third base coach and has previously spent 13 seasons in the Padres’ minor league system as a manager or coach. The rest of the coaching staff will return, though first base coach Eric Hinske will shift from first base coach to assistant hitting coach.
Here’s more from the NL Central…
- Reds lefty Sean Marshall tells MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon that he’s progressing well in his rehab from June shoulder surgery. While he still has some range of motion work to do, Marshall says that he feels like he “has a whole new shoulder” and is aiming a return in Spring Training of next year. The 32-year-old has been limited to just 31 appearances over the past two seasons and is entering the final season of a three-year, $16.5MM contract.
- In a second piece, Sheldon also spoke with Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto, who has a $10MM club option this offseason that the team is a lock to exercise. Cueto said that despite the small nature of Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, he enjoys pitching there and wants to remain with the Reds. As manager Bryan Price noted to Sheldon, however, it’s unlikely that the team can afford to retain Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon, all of whom are free agents following the 2015 season. As Sheldon points out, Cueto is by far the most attractive trade chip of the bunch, and the Reds may not be able to afford his price tag if they look to go the extension route. They could, of course, also take another shot at contending next season and either trade Cueto in July if they fall out of the race or make a qualifying offer at season’s end if they do contend.
- Top international prospect Gilbert Lara, signed by the Brewers for a $3.2MM bonus this summer, has selected Len Strelitz and Nick Chanock of the Wasserman Media Group as his agents, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
Unless Cueto signs an extension, which he has little reason to do, teams aren’t going to give up the haul required to negate the fan backlash. He’s also the only one of the four who stands a chance at being offered the QO, giving the Reds a first round pick. They’re better off trading Latos or Leake.
I feel like the return for Cueto would be more valuable than a first round pick.
That doesn’t appear to be what Rev is saying. He seems to be saying that return for Latos/Leake + 1st round pick (from a QO to Cueto) is more valuable than return for Cueto.
I think the Reds would get an absolute mega-haul for Cueto. You’re talking about the second best SP in the NL. Top five in baseball. Young, healthy. Yeah he’s only got one year left, but if he goes to a rich team maybe they can resign him. That’s awfully attractive.
How do you define mega-haul? Cueto’s only under contract for one year. Teams aren’t going to sell their farms for that. It just doesn’t happen anymore.
Well, the Cubs got one of the best prospects in baseball for half a year of Samardzija and Hammel. And Cueto’s much better than both of those guys. I’d say a good organization’s two best prospects, easily.
No they got a year and a half of Shark and a half year of Hammel. Both were also having great years and the A’s overpaid to get a jump on the market. There’s not much to compare between the two situations.
Maybe they can sell high. But that trade was at the deadline, when prices are higher and they have to find another Beane, situation and all. Personally, I don’t think they’re going to trade any starters. They’re pretty set up for next season.
Cueto has an injury history to contend with.. In 7 seasons Cueto has only topped 200 IP twice.. True Aces churn out multiple 200 IP seasons of elite numbers.
The return would almost definitely be less than Smyly, Franklin and Adames.
That plus it avoids the backlash that would come from trading Cueto. It’s understandable that they’d want to trade someone, especially since they could lost 4/5s of their rotation. But Cueto would be a blow.
Latos will assuredly get a QO as well. Leake is doubtful, and Simon isn’t happening.
Agreed that a healthy Latos gets a QO, and I think Leake will too, so long as he pitches well in 2015. He’ll be hitting the open market as a 28-year-old, which is incredibly young for a free agent pitcher. If he does that coming off a third straight season with an ERA in the mid-3.00s, that and his age will make him attractive enough to feel confident he’ll reject it. Plus, any of those guys at 1/16.5 or so wouldn’t be terrible.
Simon won’t get one though, agreed.
I meant to say that Cueto was the only one who is guaranteed the QO. Latos, probably, but he needs to be healthy.
LOL. Cubs get hitting coach who led Astros to last in the AL in batting average and tops in strikeouts. Houston was next-to-last in OPS but third in home runs.
The previous year, Mallee’s Astros set the ML record for strikeouts in a season despite the fact that pitchers don’t come to bat in the American League.
All this qualifies him to teach the young Cubbies how to hit. Great move, Theo.
exactly. and new ass’t hitting coach Eric Hinske hit a lofty .249 for his career.
Those who can’t teach, and those who can hit!
The Red Sox should be in on one of these Reds starters. Imagine they could match up. Not sure about the other guys beyond Cueto.
They’re all pretty good. Cueto and Latos would be the Sox’ aces. Simon is kind of hit and miss. Leake’s a ground ball machine (although shame to leave NL since he’s a great hitter). Reds need a SS or a LF. Cespedes for Latos might work.
very interesting matchup. I agree both of them are better than anyone the sox have. Nava might be a good fit in a package. Sox have some outfield depth. No SS that are ready (Marrero AA). Like the Latos option just don’t think sox are giving up Cespedes unless somebody wows them. Hope we can get one of these guys.
I think Latos for Cespedes would be a fantastic deal for the Sox. If Betts is half of what people say he is, I don’t think Cespedes is even starting (maybe in RF) by mid-season.
Cespedes is a run producer with pop and is going to be quite a chip this offseason. While I agree its an even trade (Latos/Cespedes), the lack of offense in the last few years makes him more valuable. Cespedes isn’t playing RF in fenway anytime soon. He was barely ok in LF.
Is shifting from first base coach to assisting hitting coach for Hinske a promotion, downgrade or lateral move?
It is somewhat of a downgrade made to look like a lateral move. He’ll get paid the same but an asst hitting coach is lower in the ranks