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Rockies hire Bud Black as new manager

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Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports that the Rockies have hired Bud Black to fill their open manager position. The report is backed by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Black, 59, managed the Padres for nine seasons, going 649-713 (.477) overall. After he was fired in 2015, he went to the Angels to serve as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler. He interviewed with the Nationals for their open managerial position, but he turned down their offer, deeming it too low.

Black is also a former player, pitching parts of 15 seasons from 1981-95. He was the Angels’ pitching coach from 2000-06.

Walt Weiss had managed the Rockies for the past four seasons, but the club went 283-365 (.437), failing to finish higher than third place in each season.

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.