Red Sox to interview Rick Peterson for pitching coach job

14 Comments

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.

What happens with all the players the Braves lost yesterday?

Braves
5 Comments

Yesterday’s unprecedented sanctions leveled on the Atlanta Braves hit them pretty hard, but it also turned a dozen players into free agents. What happens to them now? Who can sign them? When? And for how much?

First off, they get to keep their signing bonuses the Braves gave them. It wasn’t their fault the Braves messed up so it would make no sense for them to have to pay the money back. As for their next team: anyone can, theoretically, sign them. As far as team choice, they are free agents in the most narrow sense of the term.

There are limits, however, because as young, international players, their signings are subject to those caps on each team’s international bonus money which were imposed a few years back. Each team now has a “pool” of finite dollars they can spend on such players and, once that money is spent, teams are severely limited as to what they can offer an international free agent. Each summer the bonus pools are reset and it starts anew.

Which, on the surface, would seem to create a problem for the 12 new free agents, seeing as though a lot of teams have already spent much if not all of their July 2017-18 bonus pools. The good news on that, though, is that Major League Baseball has made a couple of exceptions for these guys:

  • First, the first $200,000 of any of the 12 former Braves players will not be subject to signing pools, so that’s a bit of a break; and
  • Second, even though these players will all likely be signed during the 2017-18 bonus pool period, teams have the option of counting the bonus toward the 2018-19 period. They can’t combine the money from the two periods, but they can, essentially, put off the cost into next year for accounting purposes.

Which certainly opens things up for clubs and gives the players more options as far as places to land go. A club can decide whether or not the guys on the market now look better than the guys they’ve been scouting with an eye toward signing after July 2018 and get a jump on things. Likewise, teams don’t have to decide whether or not to take a run at, say, Shohei Ohtani, burning bonus money now, or instead going after a former Braves player. Ohtani’s money will apply now, the Braves player can be accounted for next year.

The new free agents are eligible to sign during a window that begins on December 5 and ends on Jan. 15. If a player hasn’t signed by then, he can still sign with any club but cannot get a bonus. If a player hasn’t signed anywhere by May 1, 2018, he has the option of re-signing with the Braves, though they can’t pay the guy a bonus either.

Ben Badler of Baseball America has a rundown of the top guys who are now free agents thanks to the Braves’ malfeasance. Kevin Maitan is the big name. The 17-year-old shortstop was considered the top overall international free agent last year, though his first year in the Braves minor league system was less-than-impressive. There are a lot of other promising players too. All of whom now can find new employers.