Despite reports that manager John Farrell wanted Rick Peterson as his pitching coach Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the Red Sox “are expected” to give the job to Juan Nieves.
Nieves has spent the past five seasons as the White Sox’s bullpen coach and also spent nearly a decade as a pitching coach in the minors.
Before getting into coaching he pitched for the Brewers from 1986-1988, becoming the second-youngest player in baseball history to throw a no-hitter, but arm problems ended his career at age 23.
Nieves made headlines a couple years ago for saying during a radio interview that White Sox pitchers should intentionally throw at Twins hitters to “see if you can start a fight.”
Nieves takes over a pitching staff that was coached by Farrell from 2006-2010 and ranked 12th and 9th among AL teams in ERA during the two seasons he spent as Blue Jays manager.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.