Most people are assuming that Jayson Werth has played his last game for the Phillies. He’s planning on holding a press conference at 1PM Eastern today, and no matter what he says, people will read all manner of things into it, including the desire to test the free agent market. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, who just spoke with Ryan Lawrence of the Delaware County Times, is getting out in front of that train:
“(Do we have) enough money and would we like to bring (Werth) back? The answer to both of those questions is yes . . . However that will kind of depend on what the ask is and how that will affect us with other possible moves we would have to make to do that . . .”
That’s a pretty tortuous response. Everything past the “however” seems to negate the stuff that come before, with it all amounting to him saying “I have no idea if we can bring him back.”
But I bet Amaro is kind of counting on the first part being all that comes through to the public: the Phillies have the money and the desire. That way, if Werth does go elsewhere, no one can say that the Phillies didn’t try or got outbid. Rather, it will be about Werth simply wanting to leave.
The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Bryan Price. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team also fired pitching coach Mack Jenkins. The club also added Louisville manager Pat Kelly to the staff as the new bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin as the new big league pitching coach.
It was only a matter of time for Price, whose Reds have begun the season 3-15. This was Price’s fifth season at the helm and the Reds never won more than 76 games in any of his previous seasons, doing so in his first year, in 2014. They won 68 games in both 2016 and 2017 and 64 games in 2015. While that’s far more attributable to the Reds talent level than anything Price ever did or did not do, at some point the manager will take the fall for a team that makes no progress.
Price’s tenure will likely be considered largely forgettable in the view of history, but he did have a pretty memorable moment as Reds manager in April of 2015, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade at the media because they reported the availability or lack thereof of certain players for an upcoming game. Which is part of the media’s job, even if Price didn’t fully grok that at the time. The tirade itself was pretty epic, though, with then Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans reporting that “there were 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine).”
Taking over will be Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, resigning in June of 2011 because he was unhappy that he did not get a contract extension. It was a weird episode, the sort of which a lot of guys couldn’t have come back from, perhaps being considered quitters. Riggleman took a job managing the Reds’ Double-A team, however, then moved on to Triple-A and then the Reds’ big league coaching staff. There’s something to be said for persistence. And for being a big league lifer.
Anyway, Price’s exit is not likely to change the Reds’ course too much in 2018. But, as it is so often said in baseball, sometimes you gotta make a change all the same.