Mets sign Tim Byrdak to a minor league contract

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Mike Silva of New York Baseball Digest had this one last night.  Adam Rubin of ESPN New York confirmed it this morning.

The Mets have signed left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak to a minor league contract and, presumably, have invited him to spring training.

There’s a real chance that Byrdak will be able to climb his way into a lefty specialist role before spring training and open the year in the majors.  Taylor Tankersley, a fellow southpaw who will also be in camp on a minor league contract, is the only guy who might stand in his way.

Byrdak, 37, held left-handed batters to a cool .213/.271/.373 batting line last year and posted a 3.49 overall ERA.  When used correctly, he can be a valuable bullpen piece.

Report: Nationals to interview Alex Cora for managerial position

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.

Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.

Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.