Handicapping the Cubs’ managerial candidates

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The job isn’t as sexy as the openings in Washington and Detroit, but the Cubs manager job is up for grabs and today Dave Kaplan of CSNChicago.com handicaps some of the candidates with the help of an anonymous former GM who adds his thoughts.

Upshot, if you believe the GM views the world the same way Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein do: sell short on A.J. Hinch, go long on Dave Martinez or Brad Ausmus.

I feel the same way about Ausmus, for what it’s worth. Seems like this would be a great job for a guy who many feel will one day be a fantastic manager but who just needs to cut his teeth a bit.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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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.