UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says it’s a done deal, with the Padres sending Street and an undisclosed minor leaguer to the Angels for a four-prospect package headlined by Triple-A infielder Taylor Lindsey.
Padres closer Huston Street has been linked to the Angels for a while now and Jim Bowden of ESPN.com reports that the two sides are “close to finalizing a deal” for the All-Star right-hander.
Bullpen problems have plagued the Angels, who recently traded former closers with the Pirates by swapping Ernesto Friero for Jason Grilli and have also used longtime setup man Joe Smith in the closer role.
By getting Street they’d been leaving no question about the ninth-inning role, as he’s saved 258 games since debuting for the A’s in 2005, including 23 saves with a 1.09 ERA for the Padres this season.
Street has never been particularly durable and occasionally has trouble keeping the ball in the ballpark, but he’s never had an ERA above 4.00, boasts a 2.87 ERA in 565 career innings, and has a 2.03 mark with a 127/32 K/BB ratio in 129 innings for the Padres since 2012.
Street is making $7 million this season and his contract contains a $7 team option for 2015 that the Angels would almost surely be interested in exercising following a trade for the 30-year-old.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.
That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.
Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.
This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.
I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.