Terry Francona to interview for Indians’ manager job next week

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We heard confirmation yesterday that Terry Francona is indeed a candidate for the Indians manager job and is expected interview in the near future. Nick Camino of WTAM 1100 in Cleveland has the latest update on the situation.

There’s some question about whether the Indians will offer Francona enough money to leave his broadcasting job at ESPN and there’s also the matter of managing a rebuilding team without the big budget of the Red Sox. However, Francona spent the 2001 season as a special assistant to team president Mark Shapiro, who was the GM at the time, so there’s some history here. There’s also only 30 of these jobs to go around and fortunes in the American League Central can change pretty quickly.

Interim manager Sandy Alomar, Jr. is the only other confirmed candidate for the permanent gig. Many consider him the favorite for the job and he’d certainly come cheaper as a first-time skipper.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves