Getty Images

Cubs sign Michael Roth to minor league deal

Leave a comment

Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the Cubs have signed free agent left-hander Michael Roth to a minor league deal. Roth elected free agency from the Rays last November and projects as left-handed bullpen depth for the Cubs’ system.

The 27-year-old is two years removed from his last major league gig, when he pitched just 3.2 innings in a blowout 12-5 loss for the Rangers. Despite a few cups of coffee with the Angels in 2013 and 2014, he’s never been able to stick for long at the big league level, though that hasn’t stopped him from putting up solid numbers in the minors. In 2017, he split his time between the Giants’ and Rays’ farm systems, producing a cumulative 4.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in 111 2/3 innings at Triple-A Sacramento and Triple-A Durham.

The Cubs, meanwhile, still have their sights set on a big-name acquisition before the offseason officially draws to a close next month. Recent reports continue to pair them with free agent right-handers Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb, all of whom are expected to face stiff competition for their services as Opening Day draws near.

Cincinnati Reds fire Bryan Price

Getty Images
14 Comments

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.