Astros hire Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills as new manager

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Manny Acta chose Cleveland over Houston when offered both manager jobs, but the Astros announced this afternoon that they’ve found a new skipper in Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills.
Mills and Terry Francona are longtime friends, playing together first at the University of Arizona and then with the Montreal Expos. Francona became the Phillies’ manager in 1997 and hired Mills as first-base coach, and then brought him on board as his bench coach after taking the Red Sox job in 2004. Interestingly, current Houston general manager Ed Wade fired Francona when he held the same job in Philadelphia.
Prior to becoming a fixture of Francona’s coaching staffs Mills managed in the minors for over a decade, so the 52-year-old brings quite a bit of experience to the table. He faces an uphill climb in Houston, because the Astros went 74-88 this season with an aging core of players and don’t have much in the way of high-upside prospects ready to contribute.
Mills previously interviewed for the Mariners job that went to Don Wakamatsu last offseason. He reportedly gets a two-year deal with a third-year option from the Astros.

Report: Brewers sign Yovani Gallardo to a major league deal

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Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.

Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.

Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.

Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.