Wally Backman could join the Nationals’ coaching staff

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Wally Backman was a finalist for the Mets’ job last season, didn’t get it and went on to manage Double-A Binghamton. He’s currently expected to be in line for the job at Triple-A Buffalo, but Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that he may leave the Mets organization altogether and take a job as Davey Johnson’s third base coach in Washington.

Such a move would get Backman back to the bigs, of course. And, given that (a) Johnson is not going to manage forever; and (b) third base coach is a pretty standard springboard kind of job, it could put Backman in line to be Johnson’s heir with the Nats.

I was critical of the Mets for considering Backman for the top job last year. But after a couple more years under his belt, some time on a major league coaching staff and with some closer tutelage by a guy like Johnson, it could make way more sense.  Besides: if his fiery, hard-nosed reputation is everything it’s purported to be, seeing him beat Bryce Harper into a major leaguer in a year or two could be great fun to watch. Though maybe not much fun for Harper.

White Sox acquire Ivan Nova from the Pirates

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LAS VEGAS — The White Sox have acquired pitcher Ivan Nova from the Pirates. No word yet on what the Pirates are getting back. The deal is except for the medicals, Ken Rosenthal reports.

Nova posted a 4.19 ERA and 114/35 K/BB ratio in 161 innings across 29 starts in 2018. He’s basically an innings eater at this point who can probably be expected to be around a league average pitcher. He’ll make $8.5 million in 2019.