UPDATE: According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the White Sox have signed Ohman to a two-year, $4 million contract, pending a physical.
Friday, 7:10 PM: Jon Heyman of SI.com tweeted earlier this afternoon that reliever Will Ohman had narrowed his choice to three teams. We’re beginning to piece this thing together.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles are not one of the three finalists mentioned by Heyman. Meanwhile, a source tells him that the White Sox are considered the favorites to sign him. Ohman is reportedly “close” to making a decision, but a deal is not yet completed.
Ohman, 33, posted a 3.21 ERA and 43/23 K/BB ratio over 42 innings between the Orioles and Marlins last season. Largely used as a LOOGY-type during his career, he held left-handed batters to a meager .229/.323/.313 batting line and 636 OPS over 99 plate appearances in 2010.
This wouldn’t be a significant signing on the surface, but the addition of Ohman, another left-hander, could mean that the White Sox would push Matt Thornton to the closer role, bumping Chris Sale to the starting rotation. Just speculation for now, but it’s at least something to ponder on a slow Friday.
Matt Williams was voted the National League Manager of the Year on November 11, 2014, receiving 18 of 30 first-place votes from Baseball Writers Association of America members.
Today the Nationals fired him following a season full of disappointment, reports of clubhouse discontent, and Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce Harper in the dugout.
Williams went 179-145 (.552) in two seasons in Washington, which is an excellent winning percentage, but when you take over a stacked team the expectations are extremely high and there was seemingly nothing anyone could point to about his actual managing that suggested he was doing a good job.
His in-game tactics and particularly his rigid bullpen usage patterns infuriated fans. His dealings with the local media became increasingly antagonistic. And even setting aside two players literally fighting in the dugout there’s ample evidence that Williams lost the clubhouse a long time ago.
Williams was far from the only thing wrong with the Nationals this season and he’s hardly the primary person to blame for their disappointing record, but it’s also hard to make a strong case for his sticking around–meaningless, beat writer-voted award or not–and general manager Mike Rizzo predictably acted quickly to move on.
Now we’ll see who gets to take the next crack at managing the Nationals to play up to expectations.
Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.
At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.
However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:
That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.
Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.