Utilityman Jamey Carroll drawing plenty of interest

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Jamey Carroll finished 2013 with a .518 OPS, the lowest among any hitter in baseball, minimum 200 plate appearances (per Baseball Reference). Despite his anemic offensive contributions, Carroll is still drawing plenty of interest as a free agent, reports Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Cotillo cites the Rays, Rangers, and Indians — as well as “a few more” — among those showing interest.

In recent years, Carroll has spent significant time at second base, third base, and shortstop, while also contributing as a pitcher last year with the Twins during a blowout and in the outfield with the Dodgers in 2010. Ultimate Zone Rating, found at FanGraphs, grades him as an average defender on the left side of the infield and above-average at second base.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.