With the World Baseball Classic qualifying round coming up in less than two months American-born Reds Hall of Famer Barry Larkin has been hired to manage the Brazilian team.
Larkin was in Brazil earlier this year as part of an MLB camp for young players and according to the Associated Press his daughter “recently recorded a single in Brazil” called “Bring On The Nite” and “the song is one of the themes of the country’s top soap opera.” She performs under the name CymcoLe.
Larkin has his hands full, because Brazil doesn’t have much in the way of baseball history and is currently ranked 26th by the international baseball federation. This season Yan Gomes of the Blue Jays became the first Brazilian-born major leaguer.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.