Tigers’ hitting coach Wally Joyner will not return in 2017

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Hitting coach Wally Joyner will not join the Tigers for the 2017 season, according to a statement released by the team on Saturday. Joyner is expected to pursue “other interests in the game of baseball,” though no specifics about his departure were given.

Joyner joined the Tigers in the 2013 offseason, supplanting Lloyd McClendon when the former coach took a managerial position with the Mariners. In his third major league coaching stint, Joyner helped shape an offense that went 250-234 over the last three season with sluggers like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Yoenis Cespedes, though the 54-year-old’s influence was most keenly felt in the development of its younger hitters.

The Tigers will retain bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer, pitching coach Rich Dubee, third base coach Dave Clark, first base coach Omar Vizquel, bench coach Gene Lamont, and defensive coordinator Matt Martin. Assistant hitting coach David Newhan’s role with the team will remain up in the air until a replacement for Joyner can be secured.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

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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.