Joe Torre is out as Dodgers manager; Don Mattingly takes over

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Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Joe Torre is going to announce today that he’s stepping down. That’s not terribly surprising. What is surprising is that the team is going to announce Don Mattingly as his successor.

Surprising in that, as the season has gotten uglier and uglier for the Dodgers, the chatter has increasingly been about Tim Wallach — the Dodgers’ AAA manager — not, Mattingly, taking over. Part of this is because Mattingly has been around an underachieving and uninspired team. Part of it has been because of a few gaffes that he has made while filling in for Torre. A lot of it is that Mattingly is Torre’s protege, and many people thought the team wants to go in a different direction. Helps that Wallach has gotten good reviews for the work he has done in Albuquerque, too.

But it’s Mattingly. A man who many thought would one day manage in New York, but who came west when Torre was forced out (or however you want to characterize it) as the Yankees’ skipper.

Donnie Baseball: the spotlight is yours.

Nationals Acquire Ryan Raburn From White Sox

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The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.

Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.

The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.