DeMarlo Hale accepts bench coach job with Blue Jays

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UPDATE: Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Hale has accepted the bench coach job in Toronto.

Friday, 9:44 PM: Well, would you look at that? Some actual news on this slow Friday evening.

The Orioles were hoping to retain DeMarlo Hale as their third base coach, but Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com hears that he’s likely going to accept the bench coach job with the Blue Jays. Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com goes a step further by saying Hale will be hired and adds that he could get a three-year deal to join John Gibbons’ staff.

Hale has a long history as a coach and a minor league manager. He was on Terry Francona’s staff in Boston for six years, both as a third base coach and bench coach, before joining the Orioles last season. The Blue Jays actually interviewed him for manager two offseasons ago before they hired John Farrell.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.