The Rangers to hire Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as manager

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Most of the chatter before today was that interim manager Tim Bogar was the favorite to take over as the next Rangers manager. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that it’s Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister:

Banister has been the Pirates bench coach for the past four seasons. He has been with the Pirates since he was drafted by them in 1986. He got one major league at bat with them and it was a hit. So he has a career 1.000 batting average. Which is pretty sweet.

After his playing career ended at the end of the 1993 season he became a full-time coach and manager in the Pirates system and has held various positions in the organization since. The Rangers job will be his first for anyone other than the Pirates.

In an age where teams are hiring former big leaguers with no experience, the Rangers have gone decidedly old school here and hire someone who not only worked their way up through the system, but lived, breathed and basically became one with the system over decades.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.