Bobby Valentine wanted to add Bill Buckner to his Red Sox coaching staff, but the team’s upper management reportedly balked at the idea and now Buckner has taken a minor-league gig elsewhere.
Jeremy Schaap of ESPN.com reports that the Cubs have hired Bucker as their new hitting coach for the Single-A Boise Hawks, which makes sense given that Buckner lives in Idaho.
Buckner hasn’t coached in the majors since 1997, when he was the White Sox’s hitting coach, but spent this past season managing the independent league Brockton Rox to a 51-42 record.
Bucker played five seasons for the Red Sox and is most famous for his miscue in the 1986 World Series, but he also played eight seasons for the Cubs and his best years came in Chicago.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.