Scott Boras aims for Shin-Soo Choo to top the Jayson Werth deal

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Mike Puma of the New York Post reported yesterday that Scott Boras was marketing free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo for a contract in the range of $90 million, but ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick hears that he is aiming much, much higher.

That would obviously be an absurd amount of coin for Choo, but as we learned with Werth, it only takes one team to blow away all expectations. Can’t blame Boras for trying. My guess is that he’ll find enough interest to settle somewhere in the middle of those two figures, which will at least get him over the $100 million mark and exceed Hunter Pence’s recent five-year, $90 million extension with the Giants.

Choo, 31, batted .285/.423/.462 with 21 home runs and 54 RBI over 154 games with the Reds this season. He boasts a .389 career on-base percentage.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”