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.

    Bud Selig to teach a class at Arizona State law school

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    Before Bud Selig ultimately retired, he had a couple of false start retirement announcements only to have the owners beg him to sign on for one more term. In one of those false starts he talked about how the University of Wisconsin had set up an office for him in the history department and that he’d be doing some research and teaching a class now and again. And he has, in fact, taught some one-off seminars at Wisconsin’s law school and the like.

    Now something a little more permanent along those lines is in the works for The Greatest Commissioner in Baseball History. The Arizona Republic reports that Selig will join the Sports Law and Business program at Arizona State University’s law school where he will teach and advise as well as start up a speakers series in which he will bring in high-powered guests. No word on how many speakers will talk about big, important historical sports law cases like, say collusion in baseball, which was orchestrated by an ownership class in the mid-to-late 80s, of which Bud Selig was far and away the most influential member. That could get sort of awkward, I suppose.

    Either way, it’s a good way to keep busy. I mean, that’s what it has to be as he’s not hurting for cash, what with the obscene $6 million severance package the owners gave him to, I dunno, not give interviews about bad stuff that happened back in the day like Fay Vincent does all the time. Stuff like collusion. Maybe he gets the $6 million for some other purpose. Who can say, really? It’s never made any sort of sense otherwise.

    Anyway, good luck in Tempe, Bud. Maybe I’ll stop by your office at ASU when I’m there next month — I always stay in Tempe — and we can chew the fat or climb that butte with the big A on it or something. First round at Four Peaks afterward is on me.

    White Sox sign first baseman Travis Ishikawa

    Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Travis Ishikawa hits an RBI-single off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Raisel Iglesias to drive home Neil Walker in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, in Cincinnati. The Reds won 4-3. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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    First baseman Travis Ishikawa has agreed to a minor-league contract with the White Sox that includes an invitation to spring training.

    Ishikawa was previously reported to have a minor-league deal with the Mariners last month, but the signing was never finalized. Now he joins the White Sox, who have Jose Abreu and Adam LaRoche ahead of him on the first base/designated hitter depth chart.

    Ishikawa had some big moments for the Giants in the 2014 playoffs, but he’s a 32-year-old journeyman with a lifetime .255 batting average and .712 OPS in 488 games as a big leaguer.

    It’s possible the White Sox could keep him around as a bench bat and backup first baseman/left fielder, but Ishikawa seems more likely to begin the season at Triple-A.

    Mariners sign reliever Joel Peralta

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    Right-hander Joel Peralta has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mariners that includes an invitation to spring training.

    Peralta spent last season with the Dodgers and was limited to 29 innings by neck and back problems, posting a 4.34 ERA and 24/8 K/BB ratio. Los Angeles declined his $2.5 million option, making him a free agent.

    He was one of the most underrated relievers in baseball from 2010-2014, logging a total of 318 innings with a 3.34 ERA and 342 strikeouts, but at age 40 he’s shown signs of decline. Still, for a minor-league deal and no real commitment Peralta has a chance to be a nice pickup for Seattle’s bullpen.

    White Sox sign Mat Latos

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    Jerry Crasnick reports that the Chicago White Sox have signed Mat Latos.

    Latos was pretty spiffy between 2010-2014, posting sub-3.50 ERAs each year.  Then the injuries came and he fell apart. He pitched for three teams in 2015 — the Dodgers, Angels, and Marlins — with a combined 4.95 ERA in 113 innings. And he didn’t make friends on those clubs either, with reports of clubhouse strife left in his wake.

    In Chicago he gets a fresh start. It doesn’t come in a park that will do him any favors — Latos and U.S. Cellular Field don’t seem like a great match — but at this point beggars can’t be choosers.