<span class="vcard">Aaron Gleeman</span>

Pat Listach Astros

Astros fire third base coach Pat Listach


Pat Listach will not be part of new manager A.J. Hinch’s coaching staff in Houston, as the Astros informed the third base coach that he won’t be retained for next season.

Listach told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com: “I’m very disappointed. I understand it’s a business, but I’m disappointed.”

Listach has bounced around quite a bit over the years, spending time coaching with the Nationals and Cubs before joining the Astros this season.

As a player he won the Rookie of the Year award in 1992, but played a total of just 354 more games and was out of the majors for good at age 29.

Rangers want to extend GM Jon Daniels’ contract

Jon Daniels

This afternoon the Rangers officially signed new manager Jeff Banister to a three-year contract and it sounds like there may soon be some contract news regarding general manager Jon Daniels too.

Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis told Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas that the team wants to extend Daniels’ contract before the start of spring training, adding: “We’ve been consumed for the last month on this, so his will fall in place.”

Daniels, who’s been the GM since 2005, has one more season remaining on his current deal.

Nationals expected to decline Rafael Soriano’s option

Rafael Soriano

No surprise, but James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals are expected to decline their $14 million option on right-hander Rafael Soriano.

Soriano has been one of the best relievers in baseball for years and was fantastic in the first half with 22 saves and a 0.97 ERA, but then he posted a 6.48 ERA in the second half while being stripped of closing duties and nearly being left off the Nationals’ playoff roster.

Drew Storen, who had a 1.12 ERA this season and has a 2.94 ERA for his career, will take over as the full-time closer with Tyler Clippard as his primary setup man.

At age 34 it’s tough to imagine Soriano cashing in big on the open market, but even with the rough second half he finished with a 3.19 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio in 62 innings overall this season. And during the past three seasons combined he has a 2.84 ERA with 179 strikeouts in 196 innings.

Jeff Banister gets three-year contract as Rangers manager

Jeff Banister Pirates

In introducing former Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as their new manager the Rangers announced that he got a three-year contract with a team option for 2018.

By comparison, the Diamondbacks just signed their new manager, former A’s bench coach Chip Hale, to a two-year contract. Ron Washington, whom Banister replaces as manager, spent his Rangers tenure working under a series of two-year contracts.

Banister beat out interim manager and presumed favorite Tim Bogar for the job and leaves the Pirates after spending most of the past 30 years in their organization as a player and coach.

Ned Yost, icon: “I walked in and the whole place went nuts”

Ned Yost

Royals beat reporter Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star has been providing great coverage of the team throughout the playoffs, and I particularly enjoyed this tidbit about what manager Ned Yost is doing while waiting for the World Series to start:

Ned Yost piloted his family toward the Capitol Grille on the Country Club Plaza. Awaiting him was a reception he had neither expected nor ever before experienced. Before Yost could dine on steak, lobster mac and cheese and French fries, he feasted on a wave of adulation. The reaction was immediate, intense and emblematic of the good feeling inspired by the team’s berth in the World Series. Once upon a time, Yost used a fake name at Starbucks to avoid recognition. Now he cannot dodge it.

“I walked in, and the whole place went nuts,” Yost said. “I mean, everybody came out of the bar, everybody came out of their seat in the dining area. We just couldn’t get past that desk there. We were high-fiving, hugging, taking pictures. It was a tremendous experience.”

But wait, there’s more: “The next morning he was on the phone with his close friend Jeff Foxworthy.”

What a world.