The Astros, taking a surprisingly public approach to their managerial search, release a list of names of people they’re planning on talking to about their job opening:
The Astros revealed their list of 10 managerial
candidates and the list consists of a handful of former
skippers–including one of their own, Phil Garner. Yes, you read that
right. Phil Garner.
The full list: interim manager Dave Clark, Minor League Field
Coordinator Al Pedrique, former Brewers manager Ned Yost, Padres
hitting coach Randy Ready, former Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin,
former Nationals manager Manny Acta, Garner, Red Sox bench coach Brad
Mills, Red Sox first base coach Tim Bogar and Phillies bench coach Pete
Mackanin….Clark and Pedrique will be the first of 10 candidates to be
interviewed. All candidates will be available to the media following
their respective interviews.
Phil Garner? The same Phil Garner who the Astros just fired two years ago? There aren’t a lot of players in the Astros system that are likely to excite the fans anytime soon, so don’t you think it would be somewhat important to bring in a manager that can instill a bit of hope? Retreads are one thing, but bringing in very recent retreads like Garner is the kind of thing that saps the will of a fan base.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.