Terry Francona a possibility for Tigers? Indians?


That’s the speculation from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. While Terry Francona likes his ESPN gig, he’s expected to consider returning to the dugout as some team’s manager next year.

The problem right now is that there don’t project to be many openings. Houston, obviously, but Francona probably isn’t a fit for what will surely be a long-term rebuild. Boston almost surely will have one, but there’s no way that’s happening.

That’s why Heyman links Francona to Detroit and Cleveland. Jim Leyland’s contract will expire at season’s end — he’s only been working on one-year deals of late — and the Tigers might be ready to make a change if they fail to reach the postseason in what, thus far, has been a disappointing campaign.

As for the Indians, they’ve already said Manny Acta is coming back. Also, it’s not all that attractive of a job with ownership having such tight purse strings of late. Even if Francona was open to the possibility, they might not be interested in making Francona one of the game’s highest-paid managers while still on the hook to Acta for another year.

One would think Francona will be pretty picky about his next job. Detroit would be a good situation. But barring a surprise (Dusty Baker moving on? Charlie Manuel retiring? Mike Scioscia getting fired?), there might not be any particularly attractive openings this winter.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.