UPDATE: Francona’s role will be a big one, as Ben Grossman of Broadcasting and Cable reports that he’ll be partnered with Joe Buck for Game 1 and Game 2 of the ALCS because Tim McCarver is undergoing a “minor” heart procedure.
Quite a first broadcasting gig for Francona. McCarver, who’ll be 70 years in two weeks, is expected back for Game 3 of the ALCS.
Terry Francona has no shortage of job opportunities. And unlike the offer from the New England Collegiate Baseball League, he’s actually taking this gig.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the former Red Sox manager will serve as a guest analyst on FOX for the remainder of the playoffs.
It’ll be interesting to see if the FOX crew is willing to press Francona about his future as various rumors swirl. If nothing else the national spotlight would give him a chance to further explain his side of the story and presumably there’s less beer drinking on a television set than in the Red Sox’s clubhouse.
The biggest downside for Francona is that he’ll have to interact with A.J. Pierzynski.
Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.
Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.
Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.
Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.
Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.
Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.