Sources have informed Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Giants are still on the hunt for a catcher and have shown interest recently in the Rangers’ Yorvit Torrealba.
San Francisco’s hunt for a new backstop began in late May, shortly after Buster Posey broke his leg in a collision at home plate with Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins. The search has not been fruitful to this point, but the Giants seem to have found new motivation with Eli Whiteside (elbow, quad) banged up and Chris Stewart batting .156 with a .417 OPS.
Torrealba has never been a great offensive player, but he’s easily a better hitter than Whiteside and Stewart, and he could bring some stability to the position for the Giants. The Rangers may be open to offers once Mike Napoli (oblique) returns from the disabled list. Giants setup man Guillermo Mota is said to be available, and Texas could use the bullpen help.
One possible hangup: Torrealba is owed $3.25 million next season and Posey is expected to be fully recovered by the start of spring training. There’s a chance that the Giants will balk at that math. Then again, they could use Torrealba as a highly active backup in 2011 and give starts at first base to Posey with the idea of keeping his knees healthier. That might justify the $3.25 million salary.
In something of a surprising move, the Chicago Cubs fired their pitching coach, Chris Bosio on Saturday. Bosio had held the job since the 2011-12 offseason.
The Cubs made the NLCS this year, but were nowhere as near the formidable as their 2016 World Series champion iteration. While there were several reasons for that, one was that the pitching staff, which featured multiple, better-than-expected performances in 2016, but took a step back in 2017. Some of that was personnel — Joe Maddon did not have Aroldis Chapman to call on in the postseason like he did last year — and a lot of that was mere regression from veterans like Jon Lester and John Lackey. A lot of it had to do with a much higher walk rate this year than in the past.
Still, there was no chatter during the season or at the time of the Cubs’ playoff exit the other day that Bosio might be a fall guy. The Chicago Tribune reports that it was Joe Maddon’s call and that he had grown displeased with Bosio. The Tribune report suggests that Cubs pitchers will be displeased with the move as they were devoted to Bosio. Coaches, of course, come and go, so I suspect they’ll get over it.
Whatever the case, Bosio likely won’t say unemployed for long. He is widely credited with helping Jake Arrieta transform from a project to an ace and for the considerable and the somewhat unexpectedly successful development of Kyle Hendricks. The Tribune suggests that he’d be a good fit in Minnesota, where his former teammate Paul Molitor is in search of a new pitching coach.
There are several intriguing coaches available at the moment, most notably Mike Maddux, who has been the Nationals pitching coach but whose status is now in flux given the firing of Dusty Baker. Maddux’s brother Greg, of course, is a spring training pitching instructor for the Cubs. The Tribune adds that Maddon may look to his old Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey or, possibly, even recently fired Red Sox manager John Farrell, who made his bones as a pitching coach.