Cardinals, pitching coach Dave Duncan agree to two-year deal

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The past 24 hours have seen a lot of movement on the pitching coach front, with John Farrell taking the Blue Jays’ manager job, the Yankees firing Dave Eiland, and Curt Young leaving the A’s with an eye toward joining the Diamondbacks.

Despite the sudden rash of prominent pitching coach openings one of the best of all time, Dave Duncan, has decided to remain with Tony La Russa and the Cardinals, agreeing to a two-year deal today.

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Duncan insisted on a multi-year deal and the Cardinals eventually gave in after initially saying they only wanted to give one-year commitments to La Russa’s coaching staff. La Russa will be working on a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2012, but Duncan’s contract is a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2013.

Strauss also notes that Mark McGwire is leaning toward returning as hitting coach after saying previously that he’d consider stepping down due to family reasons. If he does return, McGwire is expected to receive the same one-year deal that all non-Duncan coaches get.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.