Bobby Valentine is looking for work

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Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com penned an excellent piece on former Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine,
who recently agreed to part ways with the Chiba Lotte Marines of
Japan’s Pacific League after this season. As a result, the 59-year-old
Valentine is on the hunt for a job in the United States, whether on television or managing a major league team.




“That would be ideal. I still work out every day. I don’t drink and eat too much, so
I think I can do that. I can be on the field. I can deal with the young
people and do the thing I love the most. And if not, maybe I’ll have to
talk about people who are doing the thing they love to do the most.”




And what about those Mets fans jonesin’ for a reunion? Not so fast, according to general manager Omar Minaya:



“No, no, not here. I’m very happy with Jerry Manuel. That’s not even a consideration.”




After being asked if Valentine would even be considered as a consultant, Minaya said:



“The way my staff is set up now, I don’t see that happening, no.”



Minaya is saying exactly what he is
supposed to say (for once), but casually dismissing Valentine isn’t the way to go here. Valentine enjoys overwhelming popularity among Mets
fans who would gladly welcome his return in any capacity. He was even rumored for the top job
before the Mets hired Willie Randolph in 2004. For him to not even to be a
consideration during the off-season would be blatant stupidity and
disrespect to one of the franchise’s most beloved figures.

Josh Harrison wants out of Pittsburgh

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In the wake of the Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole trades, Pirates infielder Josh Harrison released a statement to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic today in which he said he’d like to be traded if the Pirates are going to rebuild over the next couple of years.

Harrison said “If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded,” He couched it all in is love of Pittsburgh and his desire to win in Pittsburgh, adding “I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer,” but he said “I just lost two of my closest friends in the game. Cole and Cutch were not just friends, they were the best pitcher and best position player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, I am the most tenured member of the Pirates, I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond.”

Harrison is under team control on a very team-friendly contract that has him signed through 2018 and with the Pirates holding pretty cheap team options for 2019 and 2020. He’ll make $10 million this year and if the Pirates want to keep him they’ll owe him $10.5 million in 2019 and $11.5 million in 2020, with $1 million and $500,000 buyouts, respectively. Harrison played second, third and in the outfield in 2017 and hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 homers and 12 stolen bases.

Part of Harrison’s statement included the phrase “baseball is a business.” That is correct, and when Harrison signed his deal he had to know that the Pirates could blow things up, trade him or anything else during its term. That’s simply a risk one runs when one agrees to a deal that buys out free agency years. At the same time, it can’t be at all fun to be part of a tear-down process the likes of which is now getting underway in Pittsburgh, and it’d be hard to say any of us would feel differently than Harrison does if we were in his shoes.

All of that said, Harrison may very well get his wish. Rosenthal writes that the Mets, Yankees, and Brewers are among the teams with reported interest in Harrison. There are probably way more who would make a good offer for him given his versatility and given how often recent World Series winners have featured a player with exactly that kind of versatility (think Ben Zobrist and Marwin Gonzalez).

My guess is that he’s either going to be dealt now or at the deadline this coming season.