The Red Sox have several coaches still on staff from Terry Francona’s tenure: hitting coach Dave Magadan, bench coach DeMarlo Hale, third base coach Tim Bogar and bullpen coach Gary Tuck. Bobby Valentine could get rid of some of them. And there are a couple of other openings. And one of the potential candidates to fill that opening is someone with some Red Sox experience:
One name that surfaced as a potential candidate was that of former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, who managed the Brockton Rox of the independent Can-Am League last season. “He’s been a friend for years,” Valentine said. “We played together with the Dodgers. We played together in the Dominican Republic. I’ve watched his kids grow up and I respect his every opinion in baseball and in worldly matters.”
Worth noting that friendship and “opinions in baseball and in worldly matters” is pretty much the job description for a bench coach.
I’m guessing if Buckner gets hired it will set off all kinds of “Buckner returns!” headlines and talk about Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. But if it does, it’s phony and ignorant. There have been no less than two and possibly many more instances of Buckner “returning to Boston” since then. He actually came back to play his final 22 games in Boston in 1990. He’s been a guest since then, throwing out first pitches and stuff. Every time it happens, someone pumps it up as Buckner’s “redemption” or a fan “reproachment” or something. I suppose after 50 times it may stop being news.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.