Red Sox to interview Rick Peterson for pitching coach job

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The Red Sox have had mixed results with former A’s coaches of late. On the one hand, there’s Terry Francona and his two World Series titles. On the other hand, there’s Curt Young, who washed out in one year with the team and went right back to his old job as Oakland’s pitching coach this year.

Now it seems the Red Sox are going to try dipping into the well again. They asked for and received permission from the Orioles to interview Rick Peterson for the job, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reports.

Peterson was Oakland’s pitching coach from 1998-2003 before leaving for bigger money with the Mets. His reputation took a big hit there, in large part because he was seen as a driving force behind the Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano trade. Still, he lasted four years after that before getting fired when the team cleaned house in 2008. He then spent a year as Milwaukee’s pitching coach. Let go after the 2010 season, he was out of the league in 2011. He spent 2012 as the Orioles’ director of pitching development.

While a final decision on Peterson will come from the front office, manager John Farrell figures to have plenty of input. After all, he is a former pitching coach, and he’ll be doing quite a bit of work with the pitchers, particularly in spring training. It’d seem like a must that he and his pitching coach have a very good relationship.

Yadier Molina will not enter contract negotiations during the 2017 season

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is still open to extension talks during the last week of spring training. Once Opening Day rolls around, however, Molina has preemptively nixed any contract negotiations until the end of the 2017 season, when he’s scheduled to hit free agency.

Molina wants to stay with the Cardinals, or so he’s telling reporters, but he’s also “not afraid” to test the free agent market this fall should a deal fail to materialize. Via Goold:

I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.

The 34-year-old backstop is entering his final year under contract, though Goold points out that he has a $15 million option for 2018 that he can choose to decline in the event that it’s exercised by the team. He’s reportedly searching for a figure closer to those made by other top catchers like Buster Posey and Russell Martin.

The 2017 season will mark Molina’s 14th year in the Cardinals’ organization, building on a career that has spanned seven All-Star campaigns, nine postseason runs and two World Series championships in St. Louis. He batted .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs and a .787 OPS for the club in 2016.

Colby Rasmus could start 2017 on the disabled list

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Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.

Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.

The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.