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Report: Cubs close to adding Jim Hickey as pitching coach

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Update (7:17 PM ET): It’s official, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

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Patrick Mooney of NBC Sports Chicago reports that the Cubs are close to a deal with Jim Hickey to make him the new pitching coach. The Cubs today also announced Chili Davis as the new hitting coach and Brian Butterfield as the third base coach, while promoting Andy Haines to assistant hitting coach.

Hickey, 56, had been the Rays’ pitching coach since the 2007 season, but the club decided to part ways with him earlier this month. They named Kyle Snyder as the new pitching coach.

Hickey is well regarded around the league, so it’s no surprise that it took him less than a month to find employment elsewhere. He’ll work with a very successful pitching staff that will lose Jake Arrieta to free agency.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.