Cubs interested in free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus

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From Shi Davidi of Toronto’s Sportsnet.ca

Another former Blue Jays outfielder could also find his way to the Windy City.

The cross-town Cubs recently met with Colby Rasmus, and are one of several teams to have shown interest in the centre-fielder.

The other “former Blue Jays outfielder” that Davidi is referring to is Melky Cabrera, who agreed to terms on a three-year, $42 million free agent contract with the Chicago White Sox late Saturday night.

Rasmus batted just .225 with a .287 on-base percentage in 2014 for the Blue Jays, eventually getting benched. But he is only 28 years old and was a 4.8 fWAR player in 2013, hitting .276/.338/.501 with 22 home runs.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is known for utilizing platoons and Rasmus, a left-handed hitter, has good career numbers against right-handed pitchers. Adding him to the mix could ease some of the pressure on Arismendy Alcantara, who hit just .190/.215/.350 against right-handed pitching this past season as a 22-year-old rookie.

Rasmus had some major clashes with Tony La Russa in St. Louis and Rasmus has pointed to that rocky relationship as a reason he struggled to live up to his prospect hype. Maddon is very player-friendly, an embracer of odd personalities, and could maybe pull something out of Colby that his past skippers couldn’t.

The Orioles are also known to have some interest in working out a deal with Rasmus this winter.

Report: Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.