Report: Bay turns down Boston's $60 million offer

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SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that Jason Bay has turned down a four-year, $60 million offer from the Red Sox and will officially hit the open market.
Not a shock, certainly. Bay was never going to accept $60 million, whether he ends up remaining in Boston or going elsewhere, and there was little reason for him to accept a deal of any kind before at least seeing what other offers are available.
As general manager Theo Epstein put it: “It’s not a surprise that a player that’s gone this far wants to see what’s out there.”
The assumption is that a) Bay would like to re-sign with Boston, b) the Red Sox are legitimately interested in bringing him back, and c) Epstein and company could turn their attention to Matt Holliday at some point if the market for Bay is crowded. Interestingly, the Cardinals have indicated that they aren’t interested in pursuing Bay if Holliday decides to leave St. Louis, so the left fielders simply swapping teams is highly unlikely.
As noted by Matthew Pouliot in his excellent, in-depth preview of this offseason’s free agent outfielders, once you get beyond Bay and Holliday there isn’t much available in terms of big bats. Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, and Jermaine Dye are the best of the rest, but all come with question marks that could have teams that miss out on Bay and Holliday instead turning to the trade market for lineup help.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.