Storylines: The search for a manager continues for Twins
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, Oct. 27.
- Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo had his second interview with the Twins yesterday, according to Derek Wetmore and Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Lovullo's first interview went well, and past rumors had seemingly narrowed Minnesota's choices down to Lovullo, Paul Molitor and Doug Mientkiewicz. New market addition Joe Maddon is not in the mix for Minnesota, the report added. Molitor seems to be the favorite for the job at this point, per Wetmore and Wolfson. The Twins have yet to ask the Royals for permission to interview bench coach Don Wakamatsu, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. It could be that the Twins have already decided upon the aforementioned finalists, or they could simply be waiting until Kansas City's postseason run is over.
News and Notes:
- There have been several memorable performances this postseason, "but Madison Bumgarner has not only helped write this October's script, he wins the Oscar for best actor," Peter Gammons wrote. Bumgarner's phenomenal work in the playoffs (only six earned runs allowed in 47 2/3 IP) has already earned him a spot in baseball history, though the Royals still have a chance to get the last word in the World Series.
- A member of the Giants ownership group "said there is a swelling thinking" that the Red Sox will sign Pablo Sandoval as a free agent this winter. "The bigger the stage, the better he plays. He would love Boston," the Giants official said. San Francisco is no small stage itself, of course, and rival general managers told Gammons that they think the Giants will re-sign their star third baseman.
- One GM predicted to Gammons that Luke Hochevar "will be a big item this winter" in free agency. The former No. 1 overall draft pick struggled as a starter in the majors but had a fantastic season out of the Royals bullpen in 2013. Hochevar missed all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and, if healthy, would be a nice under-the-radar pickup for teams looking for relief help.
- Gammons believes the Marlins can't trade Giancarlo Stanton before his contract expires at the end of the 2016 season. "If they do, owner Jeffrey Loria's credibility will take such a further hit that he may have to sell for the Marlins to ever be accepted," Gammons wrote. I'm not necessarily sure this would be the case — if Stanton makes it clear he won't sign an extension with the club, Miami fans obviously wouldn't be happy, but they'd understand that a trade would be a logical move for the Marlins to get a big return.
- The Red Sox had some preliminary talks with Adam Katz, then Yoenis Cespedes' agent, about a four- or five-year extension, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reported. Since then, however, Cespedes changed his representation to Roc Nation Sports and is expected to look for a longer-term deal, making it more likely that the Sox explore trading him this winter. Beyond contract reasons, Boston could look to move the outfielder because, as a source told Madden, Cespedes "marches to his own drum and the [Red Sox] coaches all hate him." The Red Sox could use Cespedes as a trade chip for starting pitching, and Madden speculated that the Mets line up with the Sox as trade partners. Boston is also "exploring" what the Phillies would want for Cole Hamels, though Philadelphia isn't interested in Cespedes.
- The Royals heavily pursued Carlos Beltran last offseason and offered the veteran slugger a three-year deal with a fourth-year option, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote. Kansas City's offer would also have paid Beltran more than the $45 million he received from the Yankees on a straight three-year deal. (Last winter, ESPN's Buster Olney noted that state tax differences between Missouri and New York would've meant Beltran would've taken home more money with the Royals' contract, even if the total dollar value was less than $45 million.) In the end, however, Beltran ended up signing with the Yankees because, in part, he playing for a big-market team would help his chances for the Hall of Fame.
- The Orioles have spoken to Nick Markakis' agent and will continue contract discussions this week, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reported. Markakis is expected to hit free agency when the O's decline their half of a $17.5 million option on the outfielder's services for 2015. "Both sides want to get a deal done, but.... A hometown discount has its limits," Kubatko wrote. Indeed, Markakis will draw a lot of interest on the open market.
- The Rays don't know who their next manager will be, but they're planning on keeping their current coaches, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times wrote. A new manager will usually add some of his own staff, but that won't be the case with the Rays, who want to ensure continuity regardless of who manages next year. Topkin pointed out that could be good news for bench coach Dave Martinez, who could be a candidate for the managerial job.
- The Athletics hired Mike Aldrete as their new bench coach, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Aldrete, a Bay Area native, spent the last three seasons as the Cardinals' bench coach and four seasons prior to that as St. Louis' assistant hitting coach.
- The Braves hired Kevin Seitzer as their new hitting coach, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reported. Seitzer served as the Blue Jays' hitting coach in 2014, meaning Toronto now has a vacancy to fill. Seitzer also previously worked as a hitting coach with the Royals (2009-12) and Diamondbacks (2007).
- Top Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer left the Arizona Fall League with a shoulder issue and will see Dr. David Altchek, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported. MLB.com ranks Zimmer the No. 2 prospect in the Royals organization and the No. 47 prospect in the game. Baseball America, meanwhile, ranked Zimmer No. 26 overall in its midseason list. Zimmer had opened eyes in the AFL, with ESPN's Keith Law writing that Zimmer and the Pirates' Tyler Glasnow were the best pitching prospects he'd seen. Zimmer missed most of the 2014 season with shoulder troubles, so his current issues aren't new.