Last night the Oakland Athletics released Billy Butler. It wasn’t a shock as Butler has underperformed in both of his years with the A’s and was recently involved in a clubhouse altercation with teammate Danny Valencia. If you think, however, that the Butler release was the A’s tacit way of holding Butler responsible for the altercation, think again, because the A’s are going to release Valencia too.
That comes via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who says that Valencia is not likely to last the final three weeks of the season. Given that Valencia has played well this year — he’s hitting .289/.346/.458, with a lot of that production coming as a lefty-masher — it’s hard not to see the impending move as the A’s turning the page on what has been a tumultuous clubhouse this season. Coco Crisp, who bristled over his lack of playing time and his belief that the A’s were trying to keep his 2017 option from vesting, was traded two weeks ago.
The Kansas City Royals just announced that Ned Yost will retire following the final game of the season. Mike Matheny will take over as the Royals manager for the 2020 season.
Yost, 65, led the Royals to victory in the 2015 World Series and to back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015. He will retire as the winningest manager in Royals history. In ten years at the helm in Kansas City he is 744-836 with five games remaining. Before he managed the Royals he managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons, compiling a 457-502 record. In all, he is 1,201-1,338. When he’s done on Sunday he will finish 32nd all-time in games managed with 2,544.
The Royals now will look for the man who will, hopefully, see the current rebuild through. Multiple reporters have cited former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as Yost’s likely replacement. He currently serves as a special advisor in the club’s player development department. He managed the Cards from 2012-18, winning the NL pennant in 2013 and finishing with a record of 591-474 in St. Louis.
Here is the Royals official statement on Yost’s retirement: