contreras throwing

Phillies close to two-year extension with Jose Contreras


From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that the Phillies are close to re-signing reliever Jose Contreras to a two-year contract worth around $5 million.  The deal also comes with a third year option and performance incentives.

Handing a multi-year contract to a reliever can be problematic, but the Phils had to buck up to retain the 38-year-old Contreras, who put together solid numbers as a full-time reliever in 2010.  He has actually gained velocity since moving to the bullpen and isn’t showing signs of slowing down.  It’s not all that rare for established setup men to remain effective well into their 40s.

The Phillies are expected to finalize the new pact early this week.  Then we’ll see if Contreras can top the 1.22 WHIP, 3.34 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio that he registered over 56.2 inning this past season.

Twins hire Rangers assistant Thad Levine to be their new GM

BOSTON, MA - June 4: The Minnesota Twins logo is seen during the fifth inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 4, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
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Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine has been hired as the Twins’ next General Manager. It has not been made official, but multiple outlets are reporting the hire. Levine will join Derek Falvey, who was named the Twins’ new president of baseball operations last month.

Levine has been the Rangers assistant GM since the 2005 season, working as GM Jon Daniels’ second in command. He’ll still be second in command in Minnesota, but with an elevated title as is the style of the day. He previously worked with the Rockies. He has, according to various reports, been conversant in statistical analysis as well as traditional scouting and player development. As is also the style of the day.

Torey Lovullo is the front runner to be the Diamondbacks next manager

FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Torey Lovullo #17 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait on February 28, 2016 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports says that “folks would be surprised” if the Diamondbacks didn’t hire Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo as their next manager. Indeed, he says he’d be “shocked” if Lovullo wasn’t given the job.

New Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen comes from Boston, obviously, and knows Luvullo well. Luvullo has served as the Red Sox interim manager and has been a contender for multiple managerial jobs over the past couple of years. Others have suggested that Phil Nevin, the manager of the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate in Reno, is a top choice for the job, but given the wholesale turnover in the Dbacks’ front office, one has to wonder if he has as many patrons there now as he had in the past.

Odds are that any decision on the Arizona skipper position will come after the World Series is over.