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The White Sox are releasing Brett Lawrie

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The Chicago White Sox announced this afternoon that they’ve requested release waivers on infielder Brett Lawrie. This is a preliminary move made with the intention of giving him his unconditional release.

That’s unexpected.

The White Sox and Lawrie agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal back in December, avoiding arbitration. That was a salary cut from the year before, but if they didn’t want him they could’ve simply non-tendered him. What happened between December and now is unclear, but he’s obviously no longer in Chicago’s plans.

Lawrie posted a more or less normal-for-him season in 2016, batting .248/.310/.413. His career line is .261/.315/.419. He was the White Sox’ second baseman last year after playing mostly third base for the A’s and Blue Jays earlier in his career.

It’s been quite a fall for Lawrie over the past few years. He was once thought of as a potential star. While he never realized his potential in Toronto, he was still valued enough to where the Jays were able to use him as the centerpiece in a package to acquire Josh Donaldson before the 2015 season. Donaldson went on to win the MVP in his first year in Toronto.

Now Lawrie is looking for a job at a time of the year when most teams are looking to cut players, not sign them.

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.