Marlins view Tony Pena as a "serious" manager candidate

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According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com the Marlins view Tony Pena “as a serious candidate” to become their next manager.
Pena was a five-time All-Star as a player and prior to becoming the Yankees’ bench coach he managed the Royals from 2002 to 2005, winning AL manager of the year with an 83-79 record in 2003.
He then went 58-104 in 2004 and was fired following an 8-25 start in 2005, finishing his time in Kansas City with a .410 winning percentage. Of course, no one has been able to win in Kansas City for the past 15 years and in fact that flukishly mediocre 2003 is the Royals’ only winning season since 1994.
Frisaro speculates that the Marlins’ managerial search will include Pena, Bobby Valentine, and other candidates along with interim manager Edwin Rodriguez and “could last throughout the playoffs” in part because Pena wouldn’t be available until after the Yankees’ season is over.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.