The Marlins have signed Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The 29-year-old right-hander will receive an invite to major league spring training and will make $600,000 if he makes the team.
The native Canadian was released by the Blue Jays in November after posting a 2.61 ERA and 14/4 K/BB ratio over four starts as a September call-up. He spent most of last season rehabbing from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, posting a 1.61 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio over 11 minor league outings.
Hill has averaged 2.79 BB/9 over 239 major league innings and has a career ground ball rate of 48.9 percent, so there’s some upside here if he’s finally healthy. He’ll function as an insurance policy more than anything else.
Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.
Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.
Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.
Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:
“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”