Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a video for FOX Sports:
- Departing Tigers manager Brad Ausmus says he would be open to managing a new team immediately, although he tells Rosenthal that there don’t seem likely to be many possibilities. Rosenthal, though, points out several, including the Phillies job as well as the Mets job, which is expected to open. The Braves could also be a possibility, and Rosenthal notes that if the Red Sox have a quick playoff exit and opt to part with John Farrell, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski hired Ausmus while he was an executive in Detroit.
- Fredi Gonzalez looks to have many qualifications that could be attractive to the Tigers, including past managerial experience with a rebuilding club (the Marlins) and connections to Tigers GM Al Avila (with whom he worked while both were in the Marlins organization). The Tigers will, however, consider any number of other candidates. One they might not consider too carefully is Giants third base coach Phil Nevin, who the Tigers fired as their Triple-A manager near the end of the 2013 season.
- Astros utilityman Marwin Gonzalez could be a free agent to watch in the 2018-19 offseason, Rosenthal argues. Like Ben Zobrist, who received a $56MM deal two years ago, Gonzalez switch-hits and can play several positions in the infield and outfield. Gonzalez is also reaching the end of an outstanding .303/.375/.530 season. I might point out that Gonzalez doesn’t have Zobrist’s overall track record, but Rosenthal notes that Gonzalez will have only recently turned 30 at the start of the 2019 season, and that unlike Zobrist, he can play shortstop.
- Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks’ first-year arbitration case this offseason will be an interesting one, says Rosenthal. Hendricks has a 2.94 ERA over 100 career games, a number that compares favorably to that of Clayton Kershaw in his first few seasons. that isn’t to say Hendricks and Kershaw are similar players, as Rosenthal points out, only that Hendricks’ first arbitration payday could be a hefty one.