Kirk Gibson is the odds-on favorite to be named NL Manager of the Year later this month, but in the meantime he’s agreed to a contract extension with the Diamondbacks that runs through 2014.
General manager Kevin Towers’ deal was also extended through 2014, and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that both contracts include team options for 2015 and 2016.
Arizona will have to decide whether to exercise both the option years by the end of 2013, eliminating the possibility of a lame-duck situation.
Gibson, who played 17 seasons in the majors and was the NL MVP in 1988, has gone 128-117 (.522) since taking over as the Diamondbacks’ manager in mid-2010. Towers became the Diamondbacks’ general manager in September of last year and previously had a 15-year run as the Padres’ GM.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.
Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.
With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.