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Report: Yu Darvish wants to return to the Dodgers

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In a reader mailbag, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times says his understanding is that free agent starter Yu Darvish would like to return to the Dodgers. Darvish hasn’t signed with a team yet because he’s waiting to see if the Dodgers can free up some payroll space to add him while staying below the luxury tax threshold of $197 million.

McCullough notes that the Dodgers have been unable thus far to move “extraneous assets” like catcher Yasmani Grandal ($7.9 million), infielder Logan Forsythe ($9 million), and pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu ($7.83 million). The Dodgers currently have $185.4 million in commitments for the 2018 season, according to Cot’s Contracts.

Darvish, 31, pitched well for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Rangers on July 31. In nine starts, he posted a 3.44 ERA with a 61/13 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. He faltered in the World Series, surrendering nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts against the Astros. Darvish, apparently, had been tipping his pitches and the Astros caught on. The team that ends up signing Darvish would have to be confident the right-hander fixed his tell.

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.