Tim Tolman, who spent the last two years as Cleveland’s bench coach under Manny Acta, announced Wednesday that he was stepping down from his role amid a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Tolman, previously on Acta’s staff with the Nationals, was diagnosed two years ago. He plans to remain with the Indians in a role that will allow him a more flexible schedule.
The Indians announced that Sandy Alomar Jr. would be promoted from first-base coach to bench coach as Tolman’s replacement. Alomar, though, is believed to be a candidate to replace Ozzie Guillen as White Sox manager.
Update: Interestingly enough, Acta just got ejected from Wednesday’s finale in the first inning. That will give Tolman a chance to manage in his last game in the Indians dugout.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.