Former Cy Young Award winner Dean Chance passed away today at age 74. Chance began his career as a member of the inaugural Angels team in 1961 and went on to pitch six of his 11 Major League seasons with the Halos. Chance is best remembered for his outstanding 1964 season that saw him win the Cy Young (just one was awarded for all of baseball) after posting a league-leading 1.65 ERA, 278 1/3 innings and 11 shutouts. The right-hander also pitched for the Twins, Indians, Mets and Tigers in his career, notably winning 20 games and throwing a no-hitter for Minnesota in 1967. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register has a more thorough account of Chance’s career and personal life, and all of us at MLBTR pass on our condolences to Chance’s loved ones.
Some news from around the AL West…
- Could Evan Gattis be a non-tender candidate? ESPN’s Keith Law (Twitter link), believes it could happen since the Astros have prospect A.J. Reed and others who could replace Gattis’ production at a fraction of his next salary. MLBTR projects Gattis will earn $3.4MM in 2016 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. While the slugger posted 27 homers and 88 RBI over 604 plate appearances, he only slashed .246/.285/.463 and his lack of defensive value as a near full-time DH put Gattis at or near replacement-level value (0.5 rWAR, 0.0 fWAR). This means Gattis might not even have much trade value around the league, Law opines in response to a sub-tweeted question asking if Houston would look to deal Gattis rather than just not tender him a deal. I’m not sure I agree with Law about Gattis’ trade value; right-handed power is a valuable enough commodity that I’m sure the Astros could interest at least a few teams if Gattis was shopped.
- While Jason Castro is no longer much of a threat at the plate, his defensive ability and relationship with the pitchers makes him a valued member of the Astros roster, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle writes. Castro is Houston’s longest-tenured player and is projected to earn $4.6MM in his final year of arbitration this winter. He tells Drellich that he is just focusing on the present rather than consider his future with the Astros, as he will be a free agent after the 2016 season.
- The Mariners are replacing at least 10 minor league coaches and staff members, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. The list includes two Triple-A coaches (pitching coach Jaime Navarro and hitting coach Cory Snyder) and one Mariners insider called the firings “an absolute bloodletting.” Changes were expected under new GM Jerry Dipoto, especially since Seattle’s lackluster player development in recent years was a key reason his predecessor Jack Zduriencik was fired in the first place.
- Tim Bogar has been cited as the favorite to be the next Mariners manager, and the Seattle Times’ Larry Stone provides some background on the former player, coach and minor league manager and his ties to Dipoto. Bogar had been working as an Angels special assistant, and Stone notes that Bogar was considered to be Dipoto’s choice to replace Mike Scioscia had a change at manager been needed (possibly if Scioscia had opted out of his contract).