Angels add relievers Tony Watson and Steve Cishek

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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Angels added a pair of relievers three days before their opener, agreeing to one-year, $1 million contracts with left-hander Tony Watson and side-arming, right-hander Steve Cishek.

Watson was released from a minor league contract with Philadelphia after allowing five runs – four earned – and nine hits in five innings over seven spring training appearances. He struck out seven and walked two.

Watson, 35, is 40-25 with 32 saves and a 2.80 ERA in 10 major league seasons with Pittsburgh (2011-17), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2017) and San Francisco (2018-20). He leads active left-handers in appearances since 2011.

Cishek was released from a minor league contract with Houston after seven spring training appearances. The 35-year-old allowed three runs – on three solo homers – and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks.

He is 32-37 with 132 saves and a 2.78 ERA in 11 major league seasons with the Marlins (2010-15), St. Louis (2015), Seattle (2016-17), Tampa Bay (2017), the Chicago Cubs (2018-19) and the Chicago White Sox (2020).

Both took less than they would have gotten had they been added to major league rosters under their original contracts this season: Watson $3 million and Cishek $2.25 million.

Los Angeles placed right-hander Luke Bard on the 60-day injured list.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.