Red Sox to interview Rick Peterson for pitching coach job

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The Red Sox have had mixed results with former A’s coaches of late. On the one hand, there’s Terry Francona and his two World Series titles. On the other hand, there’s Curt Young, who washed out in one year with the team and went right back to his old job as Oakland’s pitching coach this year.

Now it seems the Red Sox are going to try dipping into the well again. They asked for and received permission from the Orioles to interview Rick Peterson for the job, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reports.

Peterson was Oakland’s pitching coach from 1998-2003 before leaving for bigger money with the Mets. His reputation took a big hit there, in large part because he was seen as a driving force behind the Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano trade. Still, he lasted four years after that before getting fired when the team cleaned house in 2008. He then spent a year as Milwaukee’s pitching coach. Let go after the 2010 season, he was out of the league in 2011. He spent 2012 as the Orioles’ director of pitching development.

While a final decision on Peterson will come from the front office, manager John Farrell figures to have plenty of input. After all, he is a former pitching coach, and he’ll be doing quite a bit of work with the pitchers, particularly in spring training. It’d seem like a must that he and his pitching coach have a very good relationship.

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.