In leaving the Cubs and joining his brother Mike Maddux with the Rangers yesterday Greg Maddux described his new role as “helping the players and the coaches as much as possible” and serving as “another set of eyes.”
His title is officially special assistant to the general manager, which is the same job he had in Chicago, but the future Hall of Famer told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that he plans to work extensively with pitchers in the majors and minors:
The first thing I’ve noticed about the Rangers is they have tremendous arms. They’ve got guys in the rotation and the bullpen that throw extremely hard and pitch up as well as any team in baseball. If the pitchers realize that if their pitch selection is good and they can control their emotions, they can have a lot of success.
I just like helping out. I like baseball and I like being around the game and around at the highest levels. Certainly the Rangers play at the highest level. I like the atmosphere, I like talking to players, I like being in the clubhouse, I like looking at game film. I like talking baseball.
Greg and Mike both talked about looking forward to working together, which they last did 20 years ago in winter ball, and Rangers pitchers have a pretty amazing opportunity to go to the ballpark each day and talk pitching with a pair of Hall of Famers in Greg Maddux and Nolan Ryan, plus one of the game’s best pitching coaches in Mike Maddux.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.