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.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to acquiring pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Ryan Moseley.
Nuno, 29, went to the Dodgers from the Mariners in the Carlos Ruiz trade this past November. He and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $1.125 million salary for the 2017 season. The left-hander finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.53 ERA and a 51/11 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings spanning one start and 54 relief appearances.
Nuno will provide the Orioles starting pitching depth and could serve as a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Moseley, 22, played his first season of professional baseball in the New York Penn League last year. In 12 relief appearances, he put up a 3.20 ERA and an 18/9 K/BB ratio across 19 2/3 innings. The Orioles selected him in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.