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Report: Padres ‘clear-cut favorites’ for Eric Hosmer

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Diego Padres and Eric Hosmer have had two face-to-face meetings in recent days and that, as a result, they are the “clear-cut favorites” to land the free agent first baseman.

This would be a pretty big splash for a team that has not, in recent years, made many big splashes on the free agent market, instead focusing on rebuilding from within. The Padres, however, are reported to view Hosmer as a “culture-changer,” who they believe can be the leader of a club they think is ready to turn the corner. If they did sign him, his deal would eclipse — maybe even come near doubling — the largest contract ever handed out by the Padres, which was the $83 million deal given to Wil Myers a year ago. Signing Hosmer would also force Myers off of first base and back to the outfield, which is something he has said recently he’d be willing to do to help the team.

Hosmer, 28, had a career year in 2017, hitting .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers. There have been suggestions that he’s still open to returning to the Royals, though they are about to embark on a rebuild. He has also reportedly had discussions with the Red Sox, who Nightengale says are “still lurking.”

 

Cincinnati Reds fire Bryan Price

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The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Bryan Price. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team also fired pitching coach Mack Jenkins. The club also added Louisville manager Pat Kelly to the staff as the new bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin as the new big league pitching coach.

It was only a matter of time for Price, whose Reds have begun the season 3-15. This was Price’s fifth season at the helm and the Reds never won more than 76 games in any of his previous seasons, doing so in his first year, in 2014. They won 68 games in both 2016 and 2017 and 64 games in 2015. While that’s far more attributable to the Reds talent level than anything Price ever did or did not do, at some point the manager will take the fall for a team that makes no progress.

Price’s tenure will likely be considered largely forgettable in the view of history, but he did have a pretty memorable moment as Reds manager in April of 2015, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade at the media because they reported the availability or lack thereof of certain players for an upcoming game. Which is part of the media’s job, even if Price didn’t fully grok that at the time. The tirade itself was pretty epic, though, with then Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans reporting that “there were 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine).” 

Taking over will be Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, resigning in June of 2011 because he was unhappy that he did not get a contract extension. It was a weird episode, the sort of which a lot of guys couldn’t have come back from, perhaps being considered quitters. Riggleman took a job managing the Reds’ Double-A team, however, then moved on to Triple-A and then the Reds’ big league coaching staff. There’s something to be said for persistence. And for being a big league lifer.

Anyway, Price’s exit is not likely to change the Reds’ course too much in 2018. But, as it is so often said in baseball, sometimes you gotta make a change all the same.