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.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.