Angels sign Mark Lowe

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Released by the Dodgers earlier this week, right-hander Mark Lowe has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Angels.

Lowe has struggled to stay healthy for most of his career, but throws hard and had a 3.63 ERA in 88 appearances for the Rangers during the past two seasons, posting a 70/32 K/BB ratio in 84 innings.

Ryan Madson’s setbacks returning from Tommy John elbow surgery took a dent out of the Angels’ bullpen depth and Lowe is a nice low-cost pickup who could work his way into a middle relief gig.

Phillies considering Chase Utley for bench coach

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Sports radio personality Howard Eskin is hearing a fun rumor that the Philadelphia Phillies are considering Chase Utley to be their bench coach.

Utley hasn’t retired yet, but he is almost 39, is a free agent and is unlikely to find anything beyond a bench role at best at this point. Time for a career change? Who knows, as this popping up over Thanksgiving makes it hard to confirm or deny one way or the other. It’s fun to think about, though. Over the past four or five years, as Utley’s production has declined, he has been widely praised as a good clubhouse presence and mentor, so it would not be hard to imagine him transitioning into a formal coaching role.

Utley, of course, played for the Phillies for thirteen seasons. If he’s going to break into coaching, he’s most likely to do it there.