Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that the Dodgers have narrowed their extensive candidate list for their vacant manager job. Now there are four: Bud Black, Darrin Erstad, Gabe Kapler and Dave Roberts.
Bowden says that Kapler remains the front runner but that Erstad had a “strong interview.” Two weeks ago Bill Plaschke reported that Roberts may be a favorite of ownership. Bowden says today, however, that President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman will make a final recommendation to ownership.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that shortstop Ian Desmond has rejected the Nationals’ qualifying offer of $15.8 million. He’ll now hit the market with an unprotected draft pick attached to him and owing to the Nationals from whoever signs him.
Desmond is not coming off a good year, having hit .233/.290/.334 with 19 homers in 641 plate appearances. But that durability — he has played at least 154 games in five of his last six seasons — and the fact that the shortstop market is very thin these days means that he should get some offers for multi-year deals. It’s doubtful he’ll get anything approaching $15.8 million a year on those offers, but he’s definitely in a “maximize security, not salary” stage of his career, all things considered.
UPDATE: Um, well this is embarrassing. I wrote this post based on a Ken Rosenthal tweet that I swear said Ian Kennedy was accepting the qualifying offer. It’s not there now so either I just totally misread it or else the tweet was deleted, but now it’s clear: Ian Kennedy is rejecting the Padres’ qualifying offer.
Kennedy is coming off of a rough season in which he finished with a 4.28 ERA across 30 starts. He earned $9.85 million for the 2015 season, avoiding arbitration in his final year of eligibility. A contract for $15.8 million would be a nice bump, but apparently he and his agent decided to test the market.
Apologies for the bad post. Happens sometimes when you fire before you aim.