In a move first reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal and later confirmed by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Mariners are set to hire Lloyd McClendon as their new manager.
McClendon previously managed the Pirates from 2001-2005, compiling a 336-446 (.430) record with zero winning seasons, and has been the Tigers’ hitting coach since 2007.
Certainly plenty of managers who struggled in their first jobs have gone on to find success in later jobs, but it’s tough not to view this as a retread hire considering how much criticism McClendon received in Pittsburgh the first time around.
He’ll replace Eric Wedge, who went 213-273 (.438) in three seasons with the Mariners and left Seattle on bad terms by saying he wouldn’t have stuck around even if they gave him a five-year contract.
Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, White Sox bench coach Joey Cora, and A’s bench coach Chip Hale were the other finalists for the job.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.