People have been hinting at the idea all week, and now it seems close to becoming a reality.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “all signs” are indicating that Bobby Valentine is going to become the next manager of the Brewers.
Valentine was interviewed for a variety of managing gigs this fall, and even appeared to be the front-runner for the Marlins’ job at one point, but talks fell through on all fronts and most believe that the stalled negotiations had to do with money. Specifically, Bobby V’s demands — a $10 million contract extended over three years.
The Brewers draw well and have a dedicated fanbase, but spending $3 million on a skipper seems misguided. That money would be better served in the back pocket of a reliable back-end starter. Or, heck, a front-end starter.
But let’s focus on some of the positives here. Valentine has a 1117-1072 career managerial record over 15 years with the Phillies and Mets and he’ll bring a higher media profile to the Brewers. There’s a load of talent in place for him in Milwaukee, where the Cardinals, Cubs, Astros and Pirates have proven themselves plenty beatable. We’ll see about those Redlegs.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.