The Blue Jays announced late this afternoon that bullpen coach Pat Hentgen has been given the year off in order “to support his family and his father’s current health issues.” Triple-A pitching coach Bob Stanley will replace him on the major league staff for the 2014 season.
Hentgen served as bullpen coach for the Blue Jays in 2011 and was brought back last season when John Gibbons was brought back as manager. He previously served as a club ambassador from 2007-2010 and in 2012. He’ll surely have a job waiting for him in the organization if and when he’s ready to return.
Hentgen was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 1986 and pitched in the majors with the club from 1991-1999 before finishing his career there in 2004. A three-time All-Star, he won the American League Cy Young Award in 1996.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.