Jon Heyman: "mystery team" in the running for Bay

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SI’s Jon Heyman writes that, despite the fact that that all of the other teams that need a left fielder are not really interested in Jason Bay, there is a “mystery team” in the running for him, making life harder for the Mets.  At the risk of falling into conspiracy theory land, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that, even though he is not Bay’s agent, Scott Boras is inventing the “mystery team.”  My thinking:

  • The Mets are widely reported to have focused on Bay over Holliday because they think he’ll be easier to sign;
  • Boras needs the Mets to jump into the Matt Holliday derby, because his dude needs to get paid crazy Omar money or at the very least needs to use them to leverage the Cardinals;
  • By creating a rumor of a “mystery team,” the only advantage Bay has over Holliday — his alleged signability — is neutralized, thereby making Holliday more appealing to the Mets.

So that’s my theory. The mystery team is a fantasy.  And you can’t doubt me on that. I got it from an anonymous source whose identity is, like, a total mystery.

Phillies promote Chris Young to pitching coach position

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Chris Young joined the Phillies as their assistant pitching coach last offseason. This offseason he’s getting a promotion: the Phillies just named as their main (um, top? lead? alpha?) pitching coach for the 2019 season. He replaces Rick Kranitz.

Ken Rosenthal, who reported the promotion, says that the Phillies didn’t necessarily want to shake up their pitching coach situation, but that since several clubs wanted to hire Young away, it was either promote him to the top job or lose him. That’s bad news for Kranitz, but he remains under contract for 2019 and will, in the meantime, be allowed to interview elsewhere.

The Phillies pitching staff ranked 11th in runs allowed in the National League in 2018. They were tenth the year before that, but some early season uncertainty and mismanagement by Gabe Kapler and a late season collapse served to hide what was, for most of the season, a bit of a better staff than the year before. The Phillies obviously credit Young for that and want to keep him in the fold.