Robin Ventura replaces Ozzie Guillen as White Sox manager

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Lots of names have been linked to the White Sox’s managerial opening since Ozzie Guillen went to the Marlins on September 28, but in the end the choice came out of nowhere.

In a surprise move the White Sox announced that Robin Ventura will replace Guillen as their new manager.

Ventura played 10 seasons for the White Sox as a power-hitting, Gold Glove-winning (and Nolan Ryan-fighting) third baseman–with Guillen often next to him at shortstop–retiring in 2004 at age 36. Since then he’s been a television analyst for college games on ESPN

“I wanted someone who met very specific criteria centered around his leadership abilities and Robin Ventura was that man,” general manager Ken Williams told reporters.

This is a certainly a bold, shocking move by Williams and the White Sox, but Ventura’s lack of experience makes it tough to have an opinion on his ability to do the job. He’s generally well respected around baseball, but has zero coaching track record aside from working with his son’s high school team.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.