The Astros, suddenly in need of a new manager after the suspension and firing of A.J. Hinch on Monday, “plan to open an outside search to find his replacement,” Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes. Nightengale names longtime manager Dusty Baker as someone with interest in the job, but it’s unclear whether the team will want to talk to him about the position. Although fellow veteran skipper Bruce Bochy has been mentioned in speculation, it appears he’s serious about taking time away from the game in the wake of his long run with the Giants. Bochy told Nightengale he’s hitting the “pause button.”
- The Phillies designated center fielder Odubel Herrera for assignment Tuesday, which could pave the way for his release. However, the likelihood is that Herrera will still be a member of the organization when spring training rolls around, according to Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s unlikely anyone will take Herrera in a trade, the Phils don’t seem keen on releasing him and eating the $19.5MM left on his contract, and it’s improbable he’d reject an outright assignment and leave that money on the table. So, while Herrera’s no longer on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, it doesn’t appear his time with the organization is up just yet.
- Former major league third baseman and ex-White Sox manager Robin Ventura has resurfaced at Oklahoma State as a student assistant, per Kendall Rogers of D1baseball.com. The Cowboys’ staff now boasts him and fellow former big leaguer Matt Holliday, whose brother, Josh Holliday, manages the team. The 52-year-old Ventura hasn’t coached in the majors since the White Sox let him go after the 2016 season. Ventura’s name came up when the Mets were seeking a manager in 2017, but he reportedly didn’t have interest in the position.
- In more ex-MLBer/college baseball news, longtime right-hander Tim Hudson is joining Auburn as a pitching/volunteer assistant coach, Teddy Cahill of Baseball America reports. Prior to enjoying an excellent MLB career, Hudson starred at Auburn. In Hudson’s return to his old stomping grounds, Cahill notes that the 44-year-old will work with potential first-round righty Tanner Burns – who has drawn comparisons to Hudson.