Reports: Orioles interested in Justin Upton, Carlos Gomez

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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Orioles have expressed interest in Padres outfielder Justin Upton. Morosi’s colleague, Ken Rosenthal, added that they’ve also inquired on Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez.

While the Orioles have gotten terrific production out of Adam Jones in center field, they’ve gotten very little from the corners. They have been using Chris Davis in right field while Nolan Reimold, David Lough, and Travis Snider have shared time in left. The Orioles’ aggregate .628 OPS out of left field is third-worst in the American League, though their Davis-inspired .760 OPS is seventh-best.

Upton, 27, can become a free agent after the season and is owed only the remainder of his $14.5 million salary for the 2015 season. He exited Sunday’s game with tightness in his lower back, per MLB.com’s Corey Brock, but it sounds like a minor issue. He entered play Sunday batting .252/.331/.426 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI.

Gomez, 29, is signed through 2016. He’s owed the remainder of $8 million for this season and $9 million next season. He entered play Sunday hitting .267/.322/.439 with eight home runs and 41 RBI.

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.