Gabe Kapler was the initial frontrunner for the Dodgers managerial gig, but after Dave Roberts knocked the interview out of the park Andrew Friedman and Dodgers ownership went with the former Padres coach.
Kapler, however, may still be changing jobs in the Dodgers organization. Ken Rosenthal reports that Kapler is expected to be part of Roberts’ coaching staff. It’s not clear in what capacity he would serve.
I wonder if, as was the case when Kapler was a managerial candidate, some detractors will claim that he, somehow, is not a “baseball man” and, rather, is merely close with the front office and beholden to modern metrics and new-age thinking and all of that. Which, as I noted at the time, was a silly criticism for a veteran of more than a decade in the bigs and a guy who actually managed for a season in the minors.
I’d like to think that won’t happen, but once we start casting players and coaches and front office people in a certain light to fit our preferred narratives it’s awful hard to stop.
Last night it was reported that the St. Louis Cardinals finished second in the David Price sweepstakes. Interesting, in that it’s not terribly often that the Cards are in on the absolute top guy in the free agent market. But it made sense given their needs.
This morning USA Today published Bob Nightengale’s story on the Price signing. The headline: “Why David Price picked Red Sox over Cardinals.” What followed was a 700-word tick-tock about the Price negotiations. All of which was interesting enough. But then you hit this bit:
The Cardinals were also in the hunt for Price, and offered him the richest contract in franchise history, a seven-year deal worth at least $30 million less than the Red Sox’s offer.
Yeah, I guess that’ll do it.
I’m not sure if this says more about the Cardinals and their belief that a top free agent on the market would take considerably less than what most assumed him to be worth or about the media which feels that “free agent takes highest offer” requires an in-depth explainer of a column. Either way, it’s a reminder that the offseason is kind of dumb and that we’re all better off when there are baseball games going on.
Jon Heyman just reported that the Mariners have agreed to sign outfielder Nori Aoki.
Aoki, who turns 34 in January, played with the Giants this past season. He finished the year with a line of .287/.353/.380 with five home runs, 26 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 392 plate appearances. He last started a game on August 31, making only two pinch-hit appearances in early September before the Giants shut him down for the remainder of the season due to lingering concussion symptoms after being hit in the head with a pitch.
He had a $5.5 million option for 2016 which the Giants declined in early November. The terms of the Mariners deal are not yet known.