No major leaguer has gone directly from playing to managing since Pete Rose was doing double duty for the Reds in the 1980s. Omar Vizquel hopes to change that, though; he wants the chance to interview for managerial openings this winter.
“I want to manage now,” Vizquel told FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi.
The fact that both Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura have both had very successful first years on the bench without any real coaching experience can’t hurt the 45-year-old Vizquel’s chances of landing a job right away.
The Astros are the one team everyone expects to target a new manager this winter, and they could take a look at Vizquel. Cleveland, though, is the really interesting possibility. The Indians have tried to shut down rumors that they’ll be looking to replace Manny Acta, but Vizquel still has plenty of fans there. Vizquel spent 11 years in Cleveland, making three All-Star teams and winning eight Gold Gloves for a franchise that hasn’t seen nearly as much success since he departed. For a team looking to put more fannies in the seats (without spending a lot of money in the process), his arrival could add some excitement next spring.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.