The Red Sox seemed pretty interested in Dale Sveum for their managerial opening and now the Cubs have him. Or, will have him, assuming that he accepts their offer. And it seems like he should because the Red Sox apparently decided against him:
Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner, who met with Sveum yesterday, appear to want a candidate with more major league managerial experience.
Which is sort of silly considering their entire managerial search thus far has been focused on guys who have not really managed in the Major Leagues that much. Gene Lamont has, but I don’t think anyone thought of him a a frontrunner for the job. Rather, it was Sveum, Mike Maddux, Pete Mackanin, Torey Lovullo and Sandy Alomar Jr. None of whom have had a full time manager’s gig in the bigs.
But now they want someone totally different than that? Some guy who has a lot of major league experience? You’d think that if that were the case they would interviewed such beasts some time in the past few weeks. Not that a ton of those guys exist. As Pete Abe notes:
Finding worthwhile candidates with experience could be difficult. There are former managers available such as Don Wakamatsu, Jim Riggleman or Trey Hillman. Another possibility would be ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine.
I know there are some Bobby Valentine rah-rah guys out there, but is anyone really inspired by that list?
Anyway, to sum up: the Sox pushed out the franchise’s best manager of all time, threw him under the bus with the press when he left, and conducted a search for his replacement that, after several weeks, is now being completely refocused in terms of what kind of candidate ownership wants.
It’s funny: after the season the Boston clubhouse was lambasted for its apparent dysfunction. I think the front office is in pretty dysfunctional shape itself.
From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.
Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.
The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.
Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
David Price has expressed a desire to return to Toronto, where he finished out the 2015 season, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes Wednesday that the Blue Jays “are not expected to be a major factor in his free agency.”
The teams that should be considered serious suitors, per Rosenthal, are the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox — all deep-pocketed teams looking to contend in 2016. Money is apparently the issue for the Blue Jays, who are currently owned by Rogers Communications.
Price registered an outstanding 2.45 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, and 225/47 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings (32 starts) this past season between the Tigers and Jays, finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award race behind Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.
The 30-year-old left-hander is probably looking for a six- or seven-year contract worth more than $25 million per season. He is represented by agent Bo McKinnis.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.
Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:
As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.
“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”
The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).
Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.
Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.
In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.