Sure, Bobby Valentine would be interested in the Mariners' gig

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Because you can’t have a managerial opening without mentioning Bobby Valentine’s name, I give you Larry Stone on the M’s vacancy:

Valentine is not commenting, but friends of Valentine say that [the Mariners job] is a job that he would be greatly interested in . . . someone familiar with Valentine’s thinking said Valentine believes the
Mariners job “is among the most appealing jobs in baseball” despite the
current turmoil.

I’ve heard some people speculate that, because Valentine spent several years managing in Japan, and because the Mariners are owned by a Japanese company (Nintendo), that he’d be a natural.  Maybe so.  It’s worth noting, though, that Nintendo’s Japanese executives are really removed from the day-to-day operation of the team. Indeed, Geoff Baker tweeted yesterday that Nintendo’s CEO has never been to a Mariners game.  Team CEO Howard Lincoln and team President Chuck Armstrong call the shots.

And actually, it’s possible that Valentine’s history in Japan could work against him. After all, his tenure with Chiba Lotte ended when he and Japanese corporate ownership just couldn’t see eye to eye. It sounded to me like he was done dirty by the suits, but who’s to say that Nintendo’s bosses aren’t more inclined to agree with their side of the story?

All of that stuff notwithstanding, there are worse choices for the M’s than Bobby V. There are always worse choices than Bobby V.

(thanks to reader Evan A. for the heads up)

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.