Charlie Manuel is getting in shape, interested in the Tigers job

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Given that Jim Leyland is 68 and stepped down saying that he thinks it’s a job for a younger man, going to a 70 year-old dude as the Tigers next manager would be an interesting choice. Still, Charlie Manuel would be up for it. And he’s getting into the BSOHL for a gig too. Via Phillies Nation:

Charlie Manuel popped up on a Detroit sports radio station, 105.1, and spoke with The Diesel show, expressing interest in the Tigers managerial opening. Manuel said he is getting himself in shape and hoping to score one of the vacant jobs.

At nearly 70 (he hits that number in January), Manuel says “Condition-wise, I feel tremendous,” Manuel said. “I’ve still got the fire. I’ve got a full tank. I’m still very much in the game.”

I don’t know if he’ll get a managers’ gig. My guess would be no in that most teams probably want to go younger or longer term. But I do think that Manuel would still be a good manager in the right situation. Detroit probably wouldn’t be the worst situation either.

If that doesn’t happen, though, you could do way, way, way worse than to hire him as a bench coach or hitting coach. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.