Minutes after their season came to an end with a 5-1 loss the Phillies announced that three members of manager Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff will not be back in 2013.
Bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross, and first base coach Sam Perlozzo have all been let go, while pitching coach Rich Dubee and third base coach Juan Samuel will apparently stay on the staff.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg is expected to get a promotion to join Manuel’s staff, although his likely role is unclear.
Philadelphia briefly got back into the Wild Card hunt following a brutal start, but finished 81-81 to snap a nine-season streak of winning records that dates back to Larry Bowa as manager.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.