Garrett Atkins: 'I'll be on another team next year'

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For now at least the Rockies have held off on releasing Garrett Atkins, but the veteran third baseman admitted yesterday that he sees zero chance of remaining in Colorado: “I know that I’ll be on another team next year and I’m just getting ready to have a good season.”
Atkins’ performance has declined significantly in each of the past three seasons, leading to a career-worst .226/.308/.342 line in 399 plate appearances while losing his starting job this year.
He earned $7 million for that awful production and would be in line for a similar salary in 2010 via arbitration, so expect the Rockies to non-tender him next month. In the meantime they’ll keep him on the 40-man roster in the hopes of finding a taker via trade, but presumably there are no teams dumb enough to actually give up something of value in trade for the right to massively overpay Atkins.
Beyond his awful performance this season, Atkins is a career .252/.324/.411 away from Coors Field, turns 30 years old in a few weeks, and has always graded out poorly on defense at third base. And if for some crazy reason there’s still a team out there willing to pay a premium for that, they surely realize that the Rockies have no intention of actually keeping Atkins around long enough to go to arbitration.
Unless some team makes the mistake of trading for him before then, Atkins will be a free agent by December 12.

Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

billy beane getty
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I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.

The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.

Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”

Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.

Brewers fire pitching coach Rick Kranitz

Wily Peralta, Rick Kranitz, Hernan Perez, Martin Maldonado
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Despite a change at general manager from Doug Melvin to David Stearns the Brewers quickly made it clear that they’re keeping Craig Counsell as manager, but today they fired pitching coach Rick Kranitz.

In fact, all of Milwaukee’s coaches except for hitting coach Darnell Coles and third base coach Ed Sedar were let go, as Counsell shakes up his staff after managing the Brewers to a 61-76 record as Ron Roenicke’s replacement.

Kranitz took over as the Brewers’ pitching coach in 2011, during which time they’ve ranked 11th among NL teams in ERA.