Dusty Baker

Dusty Baker reached out to the Nationals about their job opening

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With Joe Girardi staying in New York, the other managerial job openings move to the fore. Hard to say who goes where — I’m personally anticipating a Jim Riggleman bidding war between the Reds, Cubs and Nats, none of which can quit him — but at least one guy has an idea of where he wants to go. From Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

Longtime manager Dusty Baker, whom the Reds fired late last week, contacted General Manager Mike Rizzo through his agent to inform the Nationals he is interested in the job. Baker said no interview has been schedule, and it is not clear if the Nationals have reciprocal interest in him.

Baker confirmed to Kilgore that he reached out and is interested.

Man, I dunno. One of the things that seems kinda clear from Washington is that Mike Rizzo really had his fill of a well-established veteran manager who cuts a large figure in the media. No, Dusty isn’t Davey Johnson, but the idea that the reporters are going to come by every day to hear what he has to say rather than report the Nationals company line is the kind of dynamic one gets the sense that Rizzo wants to move away from. Better to get more of a company man like a Randy Knorr or a less-experienced guy like Matt Williams who won’t upstage the front office.

I obviously could be wrong about that. It’s just a vibe I get from reading all manner of stories about Rizzo, Johnson and the Nats. Either way, I’d be kind of surprised if they went after Dusty Baker.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.