Details on why Tim Wallach wasn’t allowed to interview with the Blue Jays

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Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com did some digging and uncovered why Tim Wallach agreed to a contract with the Dodgers that allowed him to interview for certain managerial openings (like the Brewers) while prohibiting him from pursuing other jobs (like the Blue Jays):

Wallach was allowed to make those lists himself while negotiating the deal, which the source said was unusually beneficial to Wallach in terms of both length and financial compensation. Because there are so many major league managerial openings this winter … the Dodgers didn’t want Wallach to interview for all of them, presumably because that would have held up their effort to fill their coaching staff.

So Wallach was asked to prioritize those eight clubs based on his level of interest before any of those teams even requested permission to talk to him. It isn’t clear how many teams are on the “can-talk-to” list and how many are on the “can’t-talk-to” list. But the source said the Brewers and Blue Jays are the only teams that requested permission to speak with Wallach.

In other words, if Wallach had been better at predicting which teams would be interested in him as a potential manager he’d have been allowed to talk to the Blue Jays, who’re now upset that the Dodgers denied their interview request.

According to Jackson, if Wallach isn’t hired by the Brewers he’ll remain with the Dodgers, likely as the third base coach on Don Mattingly’s staff. Jackson reports that the current third base coach, Larry Bowa, is not expected back in 2011.

Rays sign lefty Ryan Merritt to a minor league deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.

Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.

His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.

The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.