Chip Hale
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Chip Hale among candidates for Orioles managerial position

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The Orioles are expected to interview at least six candidates for their managerial vacancy, per recent reports from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Current candidates include Nationals bench coach and former manager Chip Hale, as well as Royals catching/quality-control coach Pedro Grifol, Diamondbacks farm director Mike Bell, and Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde.

Following a seven-year career in the majors, during which Hale played second and third base for the Twins and Dodgers, the now- 54-year-old has served multiple stints as a manager and coach to the Diamondbacks, Mets, Athletics, and Nationals. He guided the 2015 and 2016 D-backs to a cumulative 148-176 record and was fired at the end of the 2016 season after the team skidded to their fifth consecutive losing record since making the playoffs in 2011. Following Hale’s departure from the club, he picked up a new role as the A’s third-base coach and lasted a year before signing on with the Nationals as bench coach.

Though a clear frontrunner has yet to be named, it’s assumed that the team will gravitate toward someone with managerial experience. So far, Hale is the only known candidate who previously served as manager to a major-league club, but Rosenthal points out that “new GM [Mike] Elias [is] open-minded” and may prioritize other qualities over direct experience.

Report: Braves are out on J.T. Realmuto

J.T. Realmuto
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The Braves are reportedly putting the kibosh on a trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, per the latest from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Bowman says that the club hasn’t engaged in further talks with the Marlins for the last five days and doesn’t appear to have any plans to resume discussions, either.

While the Braves aren’t starved for catching depth, Realmuto would have rounded out a trio that already includes sub-.200 hitters Tyler Flowers and Brian McCann. The 27-year-old backstop, meanwhile, is coming off of a career year with the Marlins, during which he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award after slashing a healthy .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, an .825 OPS and 4.8 fWAR through 531 plate appearances.

The Braves’ apparent lack of interest shouldn’t have a negative impact on Realmuto’s market, however, as they were just one of six teams rumored to approach the Marlins with an offer. The Reds, Rays, Mets, Padres and Dodgers are all still in on the slugger, whose current contract places him under team control through 2020 and for whom a hefty return would be expected. So far, a frontrunner has yet to emerge in trade talks.