The game is getting younger, but we saw plenty of older players make a difference in 2015, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. The list of impact vets starts off with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz who posted a .273/.360/.553 slash line with 37 homers, earning Cafardo’s “Old Guy of the Year” award. Twins outfielder Torii Hunter was another older player who made his mark this year, though he may have had a stronger impact on his team off the field rather than on it. That type of veteran leadership can be valuable for a younger team, Cafardo argues, and he hears from people within the Astros that they’ll be seeking a “older, Raul Ibanez type” in the winter.
Here’s more from today’s column..
- Despite some speculation to the contrary, former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says that he has not interviewed for the Phillies’ GM role. Cafardo writes that he seems “content to sit out the year and regroup. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports recently noted that Cherington isn’t likely to try to get a GM job this offseason, but the Phillies job could be appealing to him, since he and Phillies owner John Middleton both went to Amherst. If Cherington does take a GM job, he’ll want it to be with people that he trusts.
- Cafardo hears that the Indians will continue to try and move a starting pitcher for a hitter this offseason. Cleveland seemed more willing to move Danny Salazar than Carlos Carrasco later in the season, Cafardo says, and The Boston Globe scribe identifies the 25-year-old as a potential trade chip.
- One major league source tells Cafardo that Cardinals pitcher John Lackey could be a fit for the Cubs next season as a free agent. After all, Theo Epstein signed Lackey as a free agent in Boston and the veteran hurler is close with Jon Lester. Lackey, who turns 37 in a few weeks, pitched to a 2.77 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 33 regular season starts.
- Cafardo cautions us not to expect Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox to work out an extension this winter. Agent Scott Boras isn’t one to do team-friendly deals and Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski tends to wait later in the arbitration process to discuss new deals.
- D’Backs Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa offered up a strong endorsement of ex-Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, who is looking to repackage himself as a manager. “Ruben is a very smart baseball man,” La Russa said. “There’s no doubt in my mind he could be a very good major league manager. He’s an ex-player who understands the game.”
- Tim Naehring, one of the Yankees’ top pro scouts, is a possibility to replace Billy Eppler as assistant GM in New York. Brian Cashman adviser Jim Hendry and former big league outfielder Kevin Reese are other potential candidates for the role.