From Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports comes word that veteran reliever Jose Mijares officially opted out of his minor league contract with the Red Sox on Sunday morning to pursue a better opportunity.
Mijares was buried too far down the Boston bullpen depth chart to have a legitimate shot at an Opening Day roster spot and will try to latch on with a team that is a little more desperate for relief help. He had an ugly 5.14 ERA in seven innings this spring in Red Sox camp, but the 29-year-old left-hander boasts a 3.23 career ERA in 259 total major league frames.
Mijares has held left-handed batters to a .225/.288/.335 slash line since breaking into the bigs as a 23-year-old in 2008 with the Twins. He should have no trouble finding another contract.
Sports radio personality Howard Eskin is hearing a fun rumor that the Philadelphia Phillies are considering Chase Utley to be their bench coach.
Utley hasn’t retired yet, but he is almost 39, is a free agent and is unlikely to find anything beyond a bench role at best at this point. Time for a career change? Who knows, as this popping up over Thanksgiving makes it hard to confirm or deny one way or the other. It’s fun to think about, though. Over the past four or five years, as Utley’s production has declined, he has been widely praised as a good clubhouse presence and mentor, so it would not be hard to imagine him transitioning into a formal coaching role.
Utley, of course, played for the Phillies for thirteen seasons. If he’s going to break into coaching, he’s most likely to do it there.