Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell could leave to join the Phillies

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The Phillies have already hired Larry Bowa to be Ryne Sandberg’s bench coach, but another familiar face could soon return to the fold.

According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell will likely talk to the Phillies about replacing Rich Dubee. He’ll be free to do so after his contract expires at midnight tonight. The Braves have invited him back for 2014, but a final decision won’t be made until he has a chance to talk to the division rival.

McDowell, who pitched with the Phillies from 1989-1991, was hired by the Braves in October of 2005 after Leo Mazzone joined the Orioles. While the club has the best ERA in the game dating back to 2009, Bowman hears that McDowell is “one of the game’s lowest-paid pitching coaches.” He should be in line for a raise no matter what he does next.

Report: Padres have made offers to both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper

Manny Machado
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Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.

Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.

The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.

Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.