Padres hire Alan Zinter as hitting coach

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Hitting coach for a team that plays half its games at Petco Park is a rough gig and the Padres have churned through a lot of them over the years. Alan Zinter will be the latest to take a crack at the job, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com.

Zinter spent this past season as the Astros’ assistant hitting coach and previously served as the Indians’ minor-league hitting coordinator. He was also teammates with new Padres manager Andy Green a decade ago during a 19-year playing career spent mostly in the minors.

San Diego’s hitting coach this year, Mark Kotsay, parted ways with the team and recently joined Oakland’s staff as bench coach.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.