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Clint Hurdle retires from baseball

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Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres interviewed Clint Hurdle, hoping he would become the hitting coach under new manager Jayce Tingler. Hurdle considered the opportunity but ultimately decided to retire from baseball.

Hurdle, 62, was fired by the Pirates following a disappointing 2019 season in which his team went 69-92, the club’s worst finish since 2010. The Pirates’ 2019 season was mired in controversy with a litany of clubhouse issues as well as more than a handful of benches-clearing brawls.

The Pirates were successful under Hurdle, however, reaching the postseason in three consecutive seasons from 2013-15. They lost the 2013 NLDS to the eventual NL champion Cardinals in five games, then lost the NL Wild Card game in the following two years to the Giants and Cubs. Overall, in Hurdle’s nine seasons in Pittsburgh, the Pirates went 735-720 (.505).

Cubs sign Jeremy Jeffress

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The Chicago Cubs have signed reliever Jeremy Jeffress to a one-year, $850,000 deal.

While Jeffress is coming off a bad year — due mostly to hip and shoulder problems — this is a surprisingly low figure for Jeffress, who was said to have had a “sizable market” last September, with the Mets, Phillies, Reds, and Rays all rumored to be in on him. It’s also worth noting that he is just a year removed from an excellent 1.29 ERA season with the Brewers. He is reported to be eligible for $200,000 in incentives, which could bring this deal closer to what a reliever of his caliber’s going rate might be.

As for the Cubs, they haven’t been particularly active this offseason — indeed, this is their first free agent acquisition — but I suppose we should give them credit for buying low on a guy who should probably be able to help their bullpen.