While Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported yesterday that White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was pushing Terry Francona for the team’s managerial vacancy, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be joining the South Siders.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Francona’s sudden availability has not changed the focus of the White Sox, as general manager Ken Williams continues to work off his original short list. David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com goes a bit further, writing the White Sox “have no interest” in hiring Francona.
The identities of the names on the White Sox short list aren’t known, but Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez are believed to be among them. As first time managers, they would likely make a fraction of what two-time World Series champion Francona would command in annual salary.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.