The Rays’ reputation for creative thinking is somewhat making the team a victim of its own success in 2018, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes. The Rays have already lost two members of their coaching staff to managerial jobs (Charlie Montoyo with the Blue Jays and Rocco Baldelli with the Twins), while senior VP Chaim Bloom was a finalist for the Mets’ GM job and has been mentioned as a possible candidate to run the Giants’ baseball operations department. For now, Tampa has two coaching vacancies to fill, though the responsibilities of Baldelli’s old infield coordinator role could be altered, as that job was specifically tailored for Baldelli’s skillset. Topkin wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one new coach from outside the organization hired, though the Rays do have a long track record of promoting from within the organization.
Some more from around the American League….
- Neither Andrew Miller or Cody Allen had a season to remember in 2018, though could those disappointing years actually make it more likely that one of the two relievers returns to the Indians bullpen in 2019? Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer explores the possibility as part of a reader mailbag, with the caveat that “this is a buyer beware situation even on a one-year deal.” Miller was hampered by multiple injuries en route to a 4.24 ERA over 34 innings for the Tribe last season, while Allen simply lacked consistency, posting a career-high 4.70 ERA over 67 frames. The prevailing wisdom had been that Cleveland wouldn’t be able to afford to re-sign either pitcher in free agency, though if either Miller or Allen was willing to take a one-year pillow contract (with an eye towards pitching better and then looking for a multi-year contract in the 2019-20 offseason), it’s possible the Tribe could be open to that type of short-term expenditure. The price tag will be an issue, of course, as Cleveland already has over $135MM in projected payroll for next season and still must address other needs this winter.
- The Orioles are parting ways with several members of the organization, as The Baltimore Sun’s Jon Meoli and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com were among those to report the changes. Triple-A manager Ron Johnson, director of Dominican baseball operations Nelson Norman, East Coast scouting supervisor Kirk Fredriksson, special assistant Matt Haas, and area scout Dana Duquette didn’t have their contracts renewed for 2019. Senior advisor Joe McIlvaine and special assignment scout Wayne Britton also won’t be returning next season, Kubatko reports.
- In another piece from Kubatko, he speculates that left-hander Sean Gilmartin and outfielder John Andreoli could be candidates to be outrighted as the Orioles clear roster space in advance of the Rule 5 Draft. (Kubatko already reported that Jace Peterson has been told by the team that he’ll be placed on outright waivers.) Gilmartin posted a 3.00 ERA over 27 relief innings for Baltimore after signing a minor league deal last summer, and Kubatko speculates that the O’s could try re-signing Gilmartin after the Rule 5 Draft since the southpaw has potential as a multi-inning reliever. The 28-year-old Andreoli made his Major League debut last season, posting a .546 OPS over 67 PA with the Mariners and Orioles.