Mike Quade managed the Cubs to a 24-13 record down the stretch last season after replacing Lou Piniella and that earned him a two-year contract worth around $2 million, but a year later the honeymoon is definitely over.
Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com notes that today marks the one-year anniversary of Quade becoming the interim manager and during that time his record is 80-85, including 56-72 this season.
To suggest the team’s struggles are entirely Quade’s fault is misguided, of course, but then again giving him full credit for last season’s late turnaround followed similarly flawed logic.
He still has 34 games to get things back on track this season, but ultimately it may be a moot point as the general manager hired to replace Jim Hendry will likely want to bring in his own manager and presumably owner Tom Ricketts is willing to eat Quade’s guaranteed salary for 2012.
Quade has clashed with several players, including most recently and consistently Starlin Castro, but veterans like Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano stuck up for the manager when talking to Mooney yesterday.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.