There’ve been an average of 3.4 in-season managerial firings since the 2007, writes Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports in the intro to his latest weekly notes column, but the 2017 campaign may be the rare year where all 30 Opening Day skippers are still at the helm of their respective teams at the conclusion of the regular season. Heyman notes that while there’s been plenty of fan and/or media criticism of high-profile managers like John Farrell (Red Sox) and Terry Collins (Mets), no manager seems to be on a particularly hot seat at the moment. He also runs down a list of nearly half the managers in the league and examines their chances of being dismissed, though again, the primary takeaway is that most seem to be rather safe.
- The GM of a rival club tells Heyman that he doesn’t think the shaky start to the season for White Sox lefty Jose Quintana will negatively impact his trade value all that much. While some have suggested that the Sox missed an opportunity to move him this offseason, there are of course still three and a half very affordable years on Quintana’s contract, and his 8.95 K/9 rate is actually a career-best. In more loosely related ChiSox news, he notes that Brett Lawrie is still waiting for his ailing foot to get back to full health before seeking out a new team.
- Though the Royals recently lost Danny Duffy for the next six to eight weeks, they’re still planning to see if there’s one more run with their longstanding core for the time being. A sale from Kansas City still looks likely to me, given that the Royals have the worst record in the American League and plenty of potential rental pieces to market this summer. It’s worth noting, though, that even with the worst record in the AL, they entered play today a relatively manageable six games back from the division lead and from a Wild Card spot.
- The Diamondbacks have sent out indications that they’re planning to wait until the last minute to determine whether they’re going to add pieces prior to the non-waiver deadline or sell off some shorter-term assets. Arizona is currently a half-game back of the NL West division lead and is in possession of a Wild Card slot at the moment, though it seems that the new front office is understandably not looking to react rashly to the team’s hot start.
- With both Jake Arrieta and John Lackey set to hit free agency (and a shaky mix in the five-spot in the rotation), the Cubs are likely to pursue at least two starters following the 2017 season, per Heyman. He lists Marco Estrada and Derek Holland as some semi-speculative picks, noting that one exec from another club feels they fit the mold of arms the Cubs are likely to eye. Chicago, of course, is certainly a candidate to add some rotation help this summer and could well pick up an arm controllable beyond the current season, which would impact their offseason trajectory.
- The Nationals and Rangers were among the teams to make a play for Greg Holland, Heyman writes, but only the Rockies were willing to take the significant risk of including a vesting player option worth as much as $15MM. Washington GM Mike Rizzo was actually on board with the concept of a vesting player option, but Nationals ownership, on the other hand, was not. The Rangers didn’t come as close in talks as the Nats did, he adds. Holland’s $15MM player option will trigger once he finishes 30 games or appears in 50 (the former will happen first), and barring an injury he seems like a lock to turn that down and reenter free agency in search of a four- or five-year pact.
- Jeb Bush’s departure from the potential Marlins ownership group he’d been assembling with Derek Jeter was due to a disagreement over who’d be the “control person,” Heyman writes. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald recently reported that Bush was set to commit less than $20MM to the sale, and Heyman now adds that Bush was on the hook for just $10MM of his own money, which would understandably make him a curious choice as the point person in the group. It’s still not known how much Jeter is planning to invest if his group is selected, but the Marlins were apparently aware that Bush could be leaving the group and remain interested in working out an agreement with Jeter and his investors.