Gordon Edes talks managers. Among the tidbits:
* Eric Wedge is almost certain to be fired;
* Dave Trembley is going to be gone and Jim Riggleman may very well be too;
* Ken Macha is probably safe for now;
* No matter how much the Wilpons talk about Jerry Manuel being safe, Bobby Valentine is being considered in Queens;
* Ed Wade needs to hire someone to clean up the mess, and based on the names floated — everyone from retreads like Jim Fregosi to newbies like Jeff Bagwell — he hasn’t yet figured out what he’s going to do.
Take all of this with a grain of salt, however, because based on what Edes says about Bobby Cox and the Braves, he may not be as plugged in as he would have you believe.
Citing “a major league source,” Edes claims in the piece that Cox and Braves’ GM had a big falling out last spring over the way John Smoltz’ situation was handled and that the poor relationship between the men could very well mean that Cox won’t be back in 2010. On the surface that sounds plausible, but according to both Cox himself and Mark Bradley at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the report is bunk. Cox says “everything is fine” and that Wren has been “outstanding.” Wren is a little more reserved, but calls Edes’ report “inaccurate.”
I’m guessing Cox and Wren aren’t big pals like Cox and Schuerholz were, but Cox is a pro who has been around forever. He survived Ted Turner for crying out loud, so I can’t feature a couple of personnel decisions by Wren causing such a rift.
If Cox isn’t back in 2010 it’s because he’s tired of managing, not because he can’t get along with the boss.
The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.
Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.
The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.