Rays, Marlins, Braves and Rangers among teams interested in Ryan Raburn

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Ryan Raburn was released by the Tigers earlier this month after batting just .171/.226/.254 with one home run and a .480 OPS in 222 plate appearances this past season, but he’s apparently a pretty popular target in free agency.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark hears that six teams are in the mix for Raburn. The Rays, Marlins, Braves and Rangers appear to have the most interest at the moment.

While Raburn struggled miserably this past season, he averaged 15 homers per season from 2009-2011 and has extensive experience between second base and the corner outfield spots. The 31-year-old could be a useful bench player and right-handed bat.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.