Jim Leyland to serve as special assistant to Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski

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From Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press:

Jim Leyland confirmed today on Detroit Sports 105.1 that he will be a special assistant to Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski heading into the 2014 season.

“I’m going to do whatever (Dombrowski) wants me to do,” Leyland said to 105.1 FM host Drew Lane on Wednesday afternoon. “It won’t be the grind you go through as a manager, but I’m still going to be pretty active.”

His duties are expected to include a mix of scouting, evaluating and general hand-shaking.

Leyland stepped down as manager after the ALCS and was replaced by Brad Ausmus.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.