Seattle released Kelly Shoppach after designating the veteran catcher for assignment last week.
Shoppach was let go when the Mariners called up last year’s No. 3 overall pick, Mike Zunino, from Triple-A to take over as the starting catcher.
Shoppach hit just .196 in 35 games for the Mariners, but he’s always been stretched when asked to play regularly and is much better suited for a part-time role focused mostly on starting against left-handed pitchers. For his career Shoppach has hit .261 with an .856 OPS versus lefties compared to .204 with a .656 OPS versus righties, so it shouldn’t be surprising if he’s back in the majors soon with another backup gig.
Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that former Yankees manager Joe Girardi took himself out of the running for the Reds’ and Rangers’ managerial openings. The “industry speculation” is that Girardi is waiting a year for a potential opening to manage the Cubs.
Current Cubs manager Joe Maddon has one more year left on his contract. While the Cubs have played quite well under his tenure, the front office and Maddon haven’t had any discussions about an extension, which means 2019 might be his final year with the club. Under Maddon’s leadership since 2015, the Cubs won the championship in 2016 and compiled a 387-261 (.597) record during the regular season.
Girardi, 54, spent his first four seasons in the majors with the Cubs and another three towards the end of his career. He managed the Marlins for one year in 2006, then managed the Yankees from 2008-17, leading them to a World Series in ’09 and an overall regular season record of 910-710 (.562).