The Washington Nationals are talking to John Smoltz, and both sides seem interested in doing a deal. The only holdup is that Smoltz would rather play for a contender, but I think we’ve passed the point in Smoltz’s career where he has a ton of choices in the matter.
You have to think that a team like the Nats — looking for credibility and looking for someone to play Crash Davis to Stephen Strasburg’s Nuke LaLoosh — would offer Smoltz (a) more money; and (b) a better chance to start than to come out of the pen. Smoltz likes both of those things, and given that he has already spent more time in the playoffs than anyone this side of red white and blue bunting, you think he might take the lower pressure gig.
Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that former Yankees manager Joe Girardi took himself out of the running for the Reds’ and Rangers’ managerial openings. The “industry speculation” is that Girardi is waiting a year for a potential opening to manage the Cubs.
Current Cubs manager Joe Maddon has one more year left on his contract. While the Cubs have played quite well under his tenure, the front office and Maddon haven’t had any discussions about an extension, which means 2019 might be his final year with the club. Under Maddon’s leadership since 2015, the Cubs won the championship in 2016 and compiled a 387-261 (.597) record during the regular season.
Girardi, 54, spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Cubs and another three towards the end of his career. He managed the Marlins for one year in 2006, then managed the Yankees from 2008-17, leading them to a World Series in ’09 and an overall regular season record of 910-710 (.562).