Astros bench coach Trey Hillman has been the subject of rumors about him becoming the manager of the Yokohama BayStars in Japan, but he says he has not been in touch with them, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle writes. If Hillman were to go to Japan, it would be more likely that he would return to the Nippon Ham Fighters, who he managed from 2003 through 2007 (although a move to that team doesn’t appear to be in the works right now, either). He does, however, remain open to possibilities outside the Astros organization. “It’s obviously not something that I’m politicking for,” says Hillman. Nonetheless, he adds, “I’m very happy being a Houston Astro, but if something jumps out I’m not going to snub my nose at it.” The Astros have Hillman under contract for 2016, so they would need to grant permission for another club to interview him. Here’s more from around the big leagues.
- The Indians need to add a bat this offseason, Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. He suggests that if the Indians were to trade a top starter like Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco (a possibility Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe mentioned last week), they would likely want a capable big-leaguer and a good prospect in return. Hoynes does caution, however, that Salazar and Carrasco might not actually be on the market.
- Leaving aside the more significant Nick Swisher/Michael Bourn deal, the best of the Indians’ small trades last summer was sending Marc Rzepczynski to the Padres for outfielder Abraham Almonte, Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer writes. Almonte hit well after the trade and earned praise for his defense in center field, and he’ll be back with the team last year. Meanwhile, Rzepczysnki struggled in San Diego, posting a 7.36 ERA despite striking out 17 batters in 14 2/3 innings.