Free agent catcher Adam Moore has signed a minor-league contract with the Rays, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where Moore will presumably be in the mix for a backup role behind Wilson Ramos and Jesus Sucre. The club has yet to confirm the deal.
Moore, 33, has not appeared in a major league role since 2016. He played a full season for the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, batting a limp .238/.313/.369 with eight home runs and a .682 OPS in 276 plate appearances. There’s nothing to suggest that he’ll luck into a full-time gig with the Rays in 2018, as he hasn’t seen more than 30 games at the big league level since his 60-game stint with the 2010 Mariners.
The Rays are expected to push forward with a Ramos/Sucre platoon this season, but could get some value out of Moore as an emergency backup option. They also have less polished options in 22-year-old backstop Nick Ciuffo, who ranked no. 27 among the club’s top prospects in 2017, and 23-year-old Brett Sullivan, who transitioned to a role behind the plate in 2016 and is still waiting for his defense to catch up to the .294 average he debuted in the minors last year.
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.