We’ve previously heard that Bobby Valentine and Ted Simmons were in the mix, but Jerry Crasnick just tweeted that, according to the scouting grapevine (which Crasnick is extremely tuned into) White Sox bench coach Joey Cora has emerged as “a strong candidate” for the Seattle Mariners managing job.
Which would be fantastic for baseball. Why? Because by all accounts, Cora is Ozzie Guillen’s bestest buddy in the world, and you have to figure that as a result Guillen is Cora’s primary mentor as he rises in the ranks. Sure, personality counts for most things, but I’d like to think that some of the Ozzie Crazy has rubbed off on Cora.
And heck, maybe Cora can hire his own former White Sox infielder as his bench coach, thereby extending this increasingly interesting branch of the baseball manager family tree. Anyone know what Craig Grebeck is doing these days?
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.