Terry Francona visiting ESPN to talk about television job

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SI.com media writer Richard Deitsch reports that Terry Francona is at the ESPN offices in Connecticut today discussing a potential television analyst job.

Shortly after the Red Sox fired him Francona subbed for Tim McCarver during FOX’s postseason broadcast and generally received glowing reviews.

And with Bobby Valentine leaving ESPN to take Francona’s old job with the Red Sox there happens to be an opening on “Sunday Night Baseball” assuming ESPN decides to stick with a third partner for Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser.

Francona failed to immediately land another job, as the Cubs and Cardinals decided against hiring him, but he’s sure to be a popular midseason replacement option for any managers on the hot seat.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.