Arizona made some changes to manager Kirk Gibson’s coaching staff, but the Diamondbacks wanted to keep hitting coach Don Baylor. However, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Baylor has decided to leave and take the same job with the Angels.
Assistant hitting coach Turner Ward seems like a decent bet to be promoted to the main gig in place of Baylor, who managed current Angels general manager (and former big-league reliever) Jerry Dipoto with the Rockies in the 1990s.
Baylor also spent six seasons with the Angels as a player in the 1970s and 1980s, including winning the AL MVP in 1979 by hitting .296 with 36 homers and a league-leading 139 RBIs.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.