Michael Morse has been out since May with a strained quadriceps, but the Mariners outfielder is rehabbing in the minors and just about ready to come off the disabled list.
Interim manager Robby Thompson described Morse as “champing at the bit” to return and Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Morse could be back in the lineup as soon as this weekend.
Morse got off to a big start before cooling off considerably, hitting .251 with 11 homers and a .767 OPS in 56 games overall before going on the DL. Acquired from the Nationals in January as part of a big three-team deal with the A’s, he’s an impending free agent making $6.75 million.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.