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Report: Giants sign Michael Morse to minor league deal

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Veteran infielder/outfielder Michael Morse has reportedly struck a minor league deal with the Giants, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy.

After posting a .275/.390/.391 line through 45 games with the Pirates in 2015, Morse was released just one month into the 2016 season when the club cleared roster space to accommodate right-hander A.J. Schugel. He hasn’t seen a full workload since his last stint with the Giants in 2014, batting .279/.336/.475 with 16 home runs while splitting time in left field and first base.

The 34-year-old has an invite to spring training, but could find it hard to break into the Giants’ 25-man roster again. Brandon Belt has a lock on first base, with most off days allotted to Buster Posey. Left field offers more flexibility, though the Giants appear to have a plethora of players that could see time there in 2017, including Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson, Kyle Blanks and Chris Marrero, among others. Defensively, Morse doesn’t stand out in the crowd, though he could add a decent bat off the bench if need be.

Outfielder Justin Ruggiano also picked up a minor league contract, per Eddy’s report. The two deals have yet to be confirmed by the team.

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.