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Twins release Anibal Sanchez

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The Twins have released right-hander Anibal Sanchez, according to a report from Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. The move is intended to clear roster space for Lance Lynn, who was acquired on a one-year, $12 million deal on Saturday. Sanchez signed with the club on a one-year, $2.5 million deal of his own last month, but the contract was not fully guaranteed. He’ll receive $417,000 after spending three weeks in camp with the Twins.

Sanchez, 34, was on the cusp of his first season with the team after finishing up a six-year campaign with the Tigers. In 2017, he produced his worst numbers during that span, going 3-7 in 17 starts and turning in a 6.41 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 in 105 1/3 innings. It came as little surprise when the Tigers declined his $16 million option at the end of the year, choosing instead to fork over the $5 million buyout as Sanchez entered free agency.

While it originally looked like the veteran righty stood a decent chance of earning a spot in the Twins’ rotation, the recent acquisitions of Lance Lynn and Jake Odorizzi forced him out of the running for a starting role. At least, that’s the reason general manager Thad Levine gave Sunday, insisting that Sanchez’s release had more to do with the new starters the club acquired over the last month and not with any facet of his performance in camp. Sanchez was originally scheduled to start the Twins’ Grapefruit League game against the Rays on Sunday. He’s 0-1 in two appearances this spring with five hits, six runs and five strikeouts scattered over four innings.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.