As soon as Dave Martinez failed to make the three finalists to replace Joe Maddon as the Rays’ manager it seemed all but certain he’d wind up on Maddon’s new coaching staff with the Cubs.
Sure enough, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Martinez is headed to Chicago to serve as Maddon’s bench coach, which is the same position he held in Tampa Bay.
Martinez was drafted by the Cubs in 1983 and debuted for Chicago in 1986, playing four seasons for the Cubs among 16 total years in the majors. He spent seven years as Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa Bay.
Travis Ishikawa, who went from Triple-A first baseman and bench bat to San Francisco’s starting left fielder in the playoffs, has avoided arbitration with the Giants by agreeing to a one-year, $1.1 million deal.
Ishikawa figures to resume being a part-time player and bench bat in 2015. He’s a career .259 hitter with a .719 OPS in 444 games and looked pretty shaky in the outfield after playing exclusively first base previously.
Raul Ibanez, who was one of three finalists for the Rays’ managerial opening, has withdrawn his name from the running due to undisclosed “family considerations.”
That leaves Kevin Cash and Don Wakamatsu as the two remaining finalists, assuming the Rays don’t add another name to the mix to replace Ibanez.
Ibanez hasn’t officially announced his retirement as a player yet, but hit just .167 in 90 games for the Angels and Royals this year at age 42.
Colby Lewis is staying with the Rangers, agreeing to a one-year, $4 million deal after the two sides couldn’t agree to terms in time for him to avoid free agency.
Lewis bounced back from an injury wrecked 2013 season to start 29 games and throw 170 innings for the Rangers this year, but he wasn’t effective with a 5.18 ERA, AL-leading 14 losses, and a .304 opponents’ batting average.
Before the injuries Lewis was a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter from 2010-2012, so the Rangers are betting on a return to that at age 35.
Pittsburgh has become a place where pitchers go to resurrect their career working with pitching coach Ray Searage and the latest to give it a try will be left-hander Clayton Richard.
Richard topped 200 innings as a starter for the Padres in 2010 and 2012, but missed most of 2013 and all of 2014 due to shoulder problems. He struggled in four starts in the minors this year after returning.
Richard was never more than a back-of-the-rotation starter, but at age 31 he’s still young and the Pirates are investing nothing on a minor-league contract.