Which managers are on thin ice?

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There’s no discussion there, but Phil Rogers throws out Dusty Baker, Eric Wedge, Jim Riggleman, Cecil Cooper and Dave Trembley as managers who may be looking for a job soon. Setting aside the glaring omission of Trey Hillman, here are my insta-takes:

  • I’m not a huge Baker fan, but there’s a lot more wrong with the Reds than him, so the Reds may as well keep him around since they’ll have to pay him anyway;
  • Eric Wedge should go. He’s had a long time to do something in Cleveland and they could use a fresh start;
  • Riggleman has done good work, but the Nats need to enter the Strasburg-era with someone a little more dynamic at the helm;
  • Cooper was thrown under the bus by his team’s ace starter and team leader, so he’s a dead man walking already; and
  • Trembley has been a good company man, but he has lost so much for so long with the Orioles, that one wonders if he can be the guy to take a team with a bright future to the next level.  It just strikes me that, when a team is about to turn the corner, you don’t want a guy who is a constant reminder of all of those years in the wilderness, ya know?
  • As happens every year, I’m sure one of these obvious suspects will somehow hang on, and some guys we never thought would get fired.  And as is the case with their decisions as managers, we will be right here to second guess and armchair GM their firings as well.

    Orioles interested in Denard Span

    Denard Span
    AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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    MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

    Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

    The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

    Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

    Ryan Madson
    AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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    ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

    Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

    While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

    Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

    After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

    Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

    Trevor Cahill
    AP Photo/Paul Beaty

    ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

    It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

    Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

    Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

    Tony LaCava
    AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

    LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

    Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.