6:41pm: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com has confirmed that the deal is final.
6:20pm: According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers have inked outfielder Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league contract. The deal will be worth $650,000 if he makes the big league club and carries another $800,000 worth of performance-based incentives.
Amezaga, who just turned 32, hit .217/.267/.261 last season in 69 at-bats and will compete with Xavier Paul and Jason Repko this spring for the backup outfield spot vacated
by Juan Pierre. Amezaga is the owner of a .251/.311/.341 career batting line in 1,331 major league at-bats and has played nearly every position during his seven professional seasons. Perhaps that versatility will land him a spot on Los Angeles’ Opening Day roster over some of the other worthy candidates in Dodgers camp.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.