Quitting on the Nationals in the middle of the season made it tough for Jim Riggleman to land another prominent big-league job, but the Reds have hired the 59-year-old former Nationals, Padres, Cubs, and Mariners manager to be their new Double-A skipper.
Nothing is official yet, but Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Riggleman will manage the Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Southern League, noting that he and Reds general manager Walt Jocketty “have a history together” from their time in the Cardinals’ organization.
Riggleman worked as a scout for the Giants following his resignation, which was due to contract squabbles and came with the Nationals having won 11 of 12 games. Davey Johnson, who replaced Riggleman in Washington and finished the season with a 40-43 record, was given the full-time gig last month.
Double-A is quite a step down for Riggleman, but a good year in the Southern League should put him in position to get back to the majors in 2013 as, say, a bench coach.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.