Bruce Bochy will retire at season’s end

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Bruce Bochy just told reporters at spring training in Scottsdale that he plans to retire following the 2019 season.

Bochy’s Giants are certainly in a transitional period right now. They aren’t calling it a rebuild in San Francisco, but it’s hard to see how what they’ve done this offseason and what sort of talent they have in house right now amounts to a contender. If there will be a more thorough restructuring or reshuffling or — gasp! — even a rebuilding, it’ll likely be a lengthy one. Bochy will turn 65 during the 2020 season and, after 25 years on the bench, he may simply not have the desire to put in the kind of time such a rebuild will take.

But what a 25 years it’s been.  He managed the Padres from 1995 through 2006 and took the Giants over in 2007. He led San Diego to the 1998 NL Pennant and has, obviously, led the Giants to three World Series titles, in 2010, 2012 and 2014. For his career he has a record of 1926-1944.

Including Bochy, there are ten managers in major league history who have won at least three World Series titles. The other nine are already in the Hall of Fame. Likewise, Bochy currently ranks eleventh on the all-time wins list. He can tie Leo Durocher at number ten with 82 wins. The ten men ahead of him are all in the Hall of Fame, too.

Given all that, he will likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame at his first opportunity. And should be.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.