Mets fire their pitching coach, trainer

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The New York Mets announced today that their longtime pitching coach Dan Warthen and their long time head trainer, Ray Ramirez, won’t be back in 2018. Warthen, who has been the Mets pitching coach since 2008. Ramirez had held his position since 2005. Warthen has been offered another job in the organization.

Ramirez has drawn ire from Mets fans and, at times, the press in the wake of numerous critical Mets injuries over the years. It’s worth noting, however, that the fan and media anger at injuries has often been spurred by the manner in which they were communicated to the public — or sometimes not communicated — or how the team has decided to employ — or not employ — the disabled list. Which is to say that, while many have questioned Ramirez over the years, it’s not at all clear that the Mets injury issues are markedly different than those of any other team, let alone that they are the fault of Ramirez. Still, expect some Mets fans to be happy about this move.

As far as other coaching moves, the Mets announced that they will keep hitting coach Kevin Long, assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler and third base coach Glenn Sherlock, who is already under contract for next year. Bench coach Dick Scott, first base coach Tom Goodwin and bullpen coach Ricky Bones will be granted permission to speak to other teams, pending the choice of a new manager.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.