Link-O-Rama: Soria, Prado, Mateo, Mills, and Springsteen

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* Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star suggests that “the Royals should at least look at trading Joakim Soria.” Between contenders watching them struggle in the playoffs and non-contenders trying to cash them in for value, very few teams seem content to stick with their closer these days.
* General manager Frank Wren indicated yesterday that Martin Prado will be the Braves’ starting second baseman next season, so expect plenty of Kelly Johnson trade rumors this winter.
* Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com “hears” that Wagner Mateo may be close to signing with the Giants after the 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic had his $3.1 milllion deal with the Cardinals voided over health issues.
* Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills was brought in for a second interview with the Astros and appears to be a finalist for their managerial opening.
* Joe Torre is now free to follow Bruce Springsteen around the country.

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.