The Phillies have already hired Larry Bowa to be Ryne Sandberg’s bench coach, but another familiar face could soon return to the fold.
According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell will likely talk to the Phillies about replacing Rich Dubee. He’ll be free to do so after his contract expires at midnight tonight. The Braves have invited him back for 2014, but a final decision won’t be made until he has a chance to talk to the division rival.
McDowell, who pitched with the Phillies from 1989-1991, was hired by the Braves in October of 2005 after Leo Mazzone joined the Orioles. While the club has the best ERA in the game dating back to 2009, Bowman hears that McDowell is “one of the game’s lowest-paid pitching coaches.” He should be in line for a raise no matter what he does next.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.
Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.
Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.
According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.