Right-handers Tomoyuki Sugano and Kohei Arihara “are on the Padres’ radar,” The Athletic’s Dennis Lin writes (subscription required). The two Nippon Professional Baseball veterans will both be available on the posting market, and represent intriguing alternatives to more established Major Leaguer hurlers in free agency. As Lin notes, the Padres have worked to establish a scouting pipeline to the Asian leagues, with Pierce Johnson and Kazuhisa Makita representing San Diego’s most prominent NPB signings in recent years.
Sugano and Arihara are quite likely to each land multi-year deals but perhaps not overly long commitments, which could appeal to a Padres team Lin says is “mulling one-year deals as a way to reinforce a rotation.” The Padres will be without Mike Clevinger in 2021 due to Tommy John surgery, leaving a vacancy in the starting mix.
Some more from around baseball…
- Jason Varitek officially joined the Red Sox coaching staff earlier this month, working in the new position of game planning coordinator. This is Varitek’s first assignment as a full-time MLB coach, and the longtime former catcher tells Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that eventually managing a team is “the ultimate goal” down the road in his post-playing career. Varitek has worked as a special assistant within the Boston front office since 2012, a post that has allowed him to dabble in several different organizational facets such as scouting, player development, and (most recently) working with Red Sox catchers throughout the 2020 season. “There are no set parameters” to the game planning coordinator job, Varitek said: “I’ll work with the catchers and pitchers and be a liaison with the analytics people. Whatever comes my way, I’ll help out. It ends up being the same thing I have been doing, helping the players grow.”
- The Pirates are known to be considering all options on the trade front this winter, though The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel (subscription required) doesn’t think Josh Bell or Gregory Polanco will be dealt since the Bucs would likely be selling low on either player. “It’s more likely than not” that Joe Musgrove will be traded, though Biertempfel also thinks it’s possible Musgrove could be signed to a contract extension, with Pittsburgh either seeing him as a long-term piece or perhaps using the extension as a way of enhancing Musgrove’s trade value.