Bud Black fired by the Padres

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The San Diego Padres have announced that they have fired manager Bud Black.

Black managed the Padres for nine seasons and had an overall record is 649-713. His tenure lasted as long as it did despite a losing record because he was well-respected and well-trusted by so many people in the game. After all, you usually don’t survive as a manager when team ownership changes or when general managers come and go. Yet Black remained through multiple administrations in San Diego.

Yet this year was different. This year there were much higher expectations than before. The Padres and their new general manager A.J. Preller spent big this offseason and made multiple splash deals including trading for Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Will Myers and Craig Kimbrel and in signing James Shields to a free agent deal. With many expecting the Padres to contend in the NL West or at least contend for a wild card, they’re currently at 32-33 which puts them in third place, six games behind the Dodgers.

Dave Roberts, formerly the Padres’ bench coach, will take over as manager for the time being. He is not being called an interim manager, as the team may actually hire a separate interim manager pending a longer search for a permanent replacement for Black. Roberts just happens to be on hand and can cover.

Roberts sparked a big comeback once upon a time. Padres fans are hoping he can do it again.

 

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.