The Red Sox hire Chili Davis as a minor league hitting coach; fundamentally shift the balance of power in the AL East

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The Red Sox hired Chili Davis to be the hitting coach for the AAA Pawsox today. That’s swell. Nice guy. Good hitter. But probably not worth this tweet from Heyman:

red sox announce hiring of chili davis as pawsox hitting coach. 1 of best/smartest guys in game. yankees still hibernating.

You know, there’s a lot to be desired about the Yankees’ offseason, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the identity of a team’s minor league hitting coach has had absolutely no bearing on any major league pennant race in the history of forever nor will it even if they’re still playing baseball in the year 2525. I think it’s OK to give the Yankees a pass here for “hibernating.”

Indeed, the notion that anything the Red Sox do that the Yankees don’t immediately counter represents some sort of victory in a never-ending war is one of the more tiresome memes in all of baseball.

It reminds me of this.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.