Cardinals 'have options' for life without Holliday

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Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals “have yet to present an offer to” Matt Holliday and “acknowledge it is virtually certain their former cleanup hitter will reach the open market.”
“We have to be prepared if we can’t sign him,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “We need to have other options to pursue. And we do. There are always options. If something we pursue with Matt falls through, we’re certainly going to re-evaluate where we stand.”
Mozeliak added that he doesn’t plan to get into a bidding war despite agent Scott Boras’ claims that Holliday should command something close to the eight-year, $180 million deal signed by Mark Teixeira last offseason. And he shouldn’t, because my guess is that Holliday ends up closer to $100 million than $180 million.
Strauss speculates that the usual suspects like the Yankees, Mets, Angels, and Red Sox will be in the mix for Holliday, but Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets are unlikely to seriously pursue Holliday or Jason Bay at their expected asking prices and the Red Sox may only turn to Holliday if attempts to re-sign Bay fall through.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey
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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.

Nats expected to consider Cal Ripken for the manager job

Cal Ripken Jr

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.

This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.

I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.