The Blue Jays announced late this afternoon that bullpen coach Pat Hentgen has been given the year off in order “to support his family and his father’s current health issues.” Triple-A pitching coach Bob Stanley will replace him on the major league staff for the 2014 season.
Hentgen served as bullpen coach for the Blue Jays in 2011 and was brought back last season when John Gibbons was brought back as manager. He previously served as a club ambassador from 2007-2010 and in 2012. He’ll surely have a job waiting for him in the organization if and when he’s ready to return.
Hentgen was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 1986 and pitched in the majors with the club from 1991-1999 before finishing his career there in 2004. A three-time All-Star, he won the American League Cy Young Award in 1996.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.