Mets GM Omar Minaya needs "big finish" to keep his job

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Mets owner Fred Wilpon hinted otherwise earlier this month, however sources tell Jon Heyman of SI.com that the team will likely need a “big finish” in order for Omar Minaya to retain his job as general manager.

But that doesn’t mean Minaya is going to be fired. Because he is respected within the organization — and, uh, under contract for two more seasons — he will likely be reassigned to another position.

As far as potential replacements for Minaya, Heyman names former Padres general manager and current Yankees consultant Kevin Towers, as well as in-house candidates John Ricco and Wayne Krivsky. He calls veteran general manager Pat Gillick “an interesting thought if he’d do it,” though there’s nothing to suggest he’d be interested. A few weeks ago, I mentioned the possibility that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels could exercise the out-clause in his contract over the winter, but it would be awful tough to pry him away from what they’re building in Texas.

One candidate Heyman doesn’t name is Josh Byrnes, who was fired as general manager of the Diamondbacks in July. Not saying he should be the guy, necessarily, but a general housecleaning would probably boost the morale of Mets fans more than Ricco or Krivsky simply inheriting the job. Maybe this is unfair, but it would feel too much like Jim Duquette Part II.   

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.