From ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Phillies reached out to the Rangers recently about a possible trade for disgruntled infielder Michael Young, but that talks did not get far.
A source told Crasnick that the Phils were only “tire kicking” and that the conversation was “brief.”
As it should have been. The Phillies are already committed to Placido Polanco at third base, Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and Chase Utley at second. And they should be happy with that crew.
But it makes sense that the Phils would at least ask. The Rockies have done the same, as have the Dodgers, Astros and Cardinals. It’s safe to assume, really, that almost every major league club has at least made contact with the Rangers’ front office to see what kind of swap they might be open to.
The Rangers are really going to struggle to find a landing spot for Young. He is owed $48 million over the next three seasons, his defense at the hot corner is not great, and he has not produced quality offensive numbers away from the power-friendly confines of the Ballpark in Arlington. On top of all that, he is 34 years old.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels is not going to be forced into making a bad deal and he’s not simply going to eat the money remaining on Young’s contract. The veteran may simply have to suck it up and begin traveling to Rangers camp. There are plenty of at-bats available to him in Texas at DH and first base.
Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.
Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.
Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.
The Tigers just announced that they will not be bringing Brad Ausmus back as manager in 2018. His contract was going to be up at the end of this season and they have decided not to renew it. Ausmus and his staff will manage the club for the final week of the season.
In the press release announcing the move, Tigers GM Al Avila said “[a]s we transition the ballclub in a new direction, I feel it’s best that we have a new approach and a fresh start with the manager position.” He went on to praise Ausmus for “doing an admirable job under difficult circumstances, especially this season,” a clear reference to the club’s decision at mid-season to blow things up. Justin Verlander and J.D. Martinez were traded in July and August, as were some more minor players. The club is clearly embarking on a lengthy rebuild of which Ausmus, who was brought in four years ago to lead a contending team, will not be a part.
In his four seasons at the helm the Tigers are 312-325. He won 90 games and the AL Central in his first season in 2014, but the Tigers were swept out of the ALDS in three games. In the past three seasons they finished fifth, second and will either finish in fourth or fifth this year. Injuries and poor bullpens have been the biggest problem, but clearly this Tigers team was supposed to win more over the past four years.
It’s unclear what direction the Tigers will take in their managerial search, but it’s clear they’re going to go outside of the organization, as Avila said in his statement that the status of the current coaching staff will be contingent on the wishes of whatever new manager they hire.
Happy trails, Brad Ausmus. Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager is now Baseball’s Most Handsome Unemployed coach.