The Cubs give Greg Maddux a job

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Though he’s probably a better option than some of the guys the Royals and Mets will trot out to the mound this season, Greg Maddux has apparently decided that his retirement is going to stick.  Instead, he’s going to go work for the Cubs as a special assistant to Jim Hendry.

Maddux has long been thought of as a guy who could be brilliant a pitching coach. Unlike a lot of superstars who can’t readily translate what allows them to perform their craft to mere mortals, Maddux has a reputation as being an excellent teacher in the dugout.  Young pitchers in San Diego spoke particularly highly of his counsel.

One wonders if this your standard-issue spring training roving instructor assignment for Maddux or if he’s trying coaching on for size and will follow his brother into the biz one day himself.

The Mariners have made an offer to bring back Hisashi Iwakuma

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Hisashi Iwakuma tells the Japan Times that the Mariners have made him an offer to return.

Iwakuma became a free agent earlier this month after the Mariners, not surprisingly, declined his $10 million option for 2018. Iwakuma says that it’s “not a done deal,” but “hopefully I will be able to make a positive announcement soon.”

Iwakuma, who turns 37 early next season, made only six starts in 2017, posting a 4.35 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.6 SO/9 over 31 innings. He went on the disabled list in May and never returned to action, undergoing arthroscopic debridement surgery in September. He hopes to be recovered fully by spring training.