Jim Edmonds and Ryan Franklin take post-retirement roles with Cardinals

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Jim Edmonds canceled his comeback attempt last spring, signing a minor-league contract with the Cardinals and then retiring before reporting to camp.

This time around he’ll be at Cardinals camp, wearing his familiar No. 15, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Edmonds will be a “special instructor.”

And according to Strauss, if things go well for Edmonds it “might lead to deeper involvement with the organization, possibly in a consultant role to general manager John Mozeliak.”

Strauss also reports that former closer Ryan Franklin has already been hired as a special assistant to the GM and “will advise Mozeliak on personnel and perform regional scouting chores based out of his Oklahoma home.” Franklin retired last season at age 38 after being released by the Cardinals in June with a 8.46 ERA in 21 appearances.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.