The Cubs fire hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo

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The Chicago Cubs just announced that they have fired hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. They have named James Rowson, their minor league hitting coordinator, as the interim major league hitting coach.

The Cubs hired Jaramillo away from the Texas Rangers following the 2009 season. He was given a three-year, $2.42 million contract which seemed kind of nuts for a hitting coach. Part of the appeal at the time was that he had just been with new free agent-signee Milton Bradley in Texas and it was thought that following him up to Chicago was a good idea. Hey, who knew?

Not that Jaramillo was purely a Milton Bradley Whisperer. He was well-respected as a hitting instructor for years, and it was felt that he’d be a good fit with the Cubs.  With an entirely new management team in place, however, and with his contract nearing its end, it seems likely that the Cubs just want to have someone in place who can work with the rebuilding program.

Astros Extend Jeff Luhnow Through 2023

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The Astros have agreed to a contract extension with Jeff Luhnow through 2023. They’ve also given him a promotion. Or, at the very least, a new title, as he is now president of baseball operations as well as GM.

Luhnow, who was hired following the 2011 season, quite obviously built the Astros from a 100+ loss train wreck into the World Series champions. They are a top contender for that title once again in 2018. That the Astros would even think about shaking him loose any time soon was a fantasy, so this move should be considered a formality.