Joe Torre may stay in L.A. beyond next year

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Last week rumors were circulating that Don Mattingly was negotiating with the Dodgers to become Joe Torre’s heir apparent.  I thought it was a bad move for Donnie Baseball to bypass offers and interviews from other teams because one never knows what the future might hold. For instance: the man you’re supposed to be succeeding may decide that he never wants to retire:

I hear Joe Torre is talking about extending his contract as manager with the Dodgers and remaining beyond next season.

“Where did you get that?” Torre says, the first time all weekend he seems to care where I’m getting my inside information.

But it’s true, Torre says, “we’re talking about it . . . We were talking about my coaches and I’ve been thinking about it,”
Torre says while mentioning General Manager Ned Colletti’s name and
plans to chat again once Torre returns from a charity function in New
York.  “It’s been fun. When I came here, I was curious about how it might
go. But the last two years have been invigorating. You see progress and
your ego tells you maybe you had something to do with it.”

Torre had planned on retiring after 2010. Certainly he has earned the right to change his mind.  But the longer he hangs around, the longer Don Mattingly remains in career limbo.

Memo to Donnie: go on some interviews. Put out some feelers. Don’t wait for Joe Torre to figure out where your life and career is going.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.