Phillies assistant GM Chuck LaMar resigns

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Clearly this is a move borne of his personal disgrace over helping to assemble such a horrible te — oh, wait. It’s the Phillies. I still automatically think “Devil Rays” when I hear his name.  But boy, this one is strange.  “Shocking” according to Bob Brookover of the Inquirer:

LaMar did not return phone calls or text messages from the Inquirer Tuesday night, but during an extensive review of the 2011 minor-league season last week he gave zero indication that he was about to step down. Instead, the now former assistant general manager in charge of player development raved about the farm system’s vast talent and resources.

I got it: he gave that interview before learning that, contrary to his initial impression, the Phillies future was murky at best. That had to be it. It’s something that certainly rocked the foundations of many of you guys.

Or, rather, he realizes that leaving on top is not a bad thing at all, especially when there are other GM openings in places like Chicago. I mean, I haven’t heard his name mentioned as a potential Cubs GM — and at 55 he isn’t quite the model of a young, analytical type the Cubs are reported to be interested in hiring — but there are opportunities out there for LaMar out there.

Opportunities that he’s not going to get working behind a ninja. A ninja who is considerably younger than he is.

Report: Mariners sign Juan Nicasio to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have signed pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Nicasio, 31, spent last season with the Pirates, Phillies, and Cardinals, putting up an aggregate 2.61 ERA with a 72/20 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. He appeared in 76 games, leading the National League.

Nicasio will help bolster the Mariners’ bullpen behind closer Edwin Diaz. It’s not known exactly what role he’ll have but it seems reasonable to assume he’ll handle mostly the seventh inning while Nick Vincent will set up for Diaz. Nicasio does have plenty of starting experience so he could also spot start in a pinch.