In his latest notes column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo looks at the remarkable list of front office talent incubated by John Hart during his stint as the Indians’ general manager from 1989-2001. Such names as Chris Antonetti, Mark Shapiro, Neal Huntington, Ben Cherington, Paul DePodesta, Josh Byrnes and Dan O’Dowd worked together in the Cleveland front office and went on to run their own front offices as general managers, baseball operations heads and/or club presidents. Of course, those executives all developed their own notable staffers, to the point that Hart’s front office tree extends to virtually every team in the sport. Here’s some more from Cafardo’s column…
- Mark Melancon will draw a lot of interest in free agency this winter, both as a closer and potentially, Cafardo opines, as an Andrew Miller-style hybrid reliever. Melancon could be willing to accept such a role if he still gets paid like a top-flight closer, and Cafardo thinks firemen could eventually surpass closers as the highest-paid members of a bullpen. “Don’t kid yourself, one reason Miller accepts his role is because he earns closer money,” Cafardo writes.
- “The Nationals are expected to go hard” for Melancon, Cafardo reports, which isn’t a surprise given how well he pitched for Washington after he was acquired at the trade deadline.
- Major League sources often cite a three-year/$45MM contract for Rich Hill in free agency this winter, and Hill could even get more the better he pitches during the Dodgers’ postseason run. Last month, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes outlined five reasons why he is predicting Hill to receive at least $45MM, despite Hill’s age and injury history.
- Angels first base coach Gary DiSarcina could be a candidate for two jobs with other clubs, based on his past experience working in the Red Sox front office and managing their A-ball and Triple-A affiliates. Cafardo suggests that Mike Hazen (the former Red Sox GM and newly-hired Diamondbacks GM) could consider DiSarcina as the new D’Backs manager. Boston bench coach Torey Lovullo has been rumored to be a top contender for the Arizona job, so if he indeed leaves, Cafardo wonders if DiSarcina could return to Fenway for a job on John Farrell’s staff.