Storylines: Washington announces resignation from Rangers
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 Friday, Sept. 5.
- Ron Washington announced his resignation as the Rangers manager in a statement released to the media yesterday citing personal matters. Bench coach Tim Bogarhas taken over as the interim manager, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Bogar is in his first year with the Rangers organization following a decade as a coach and minor league manager with the Astros, Indians, Angels, Rays and Red Sox. He has been mentioned in connection with a few Major League managerial posts in the past (most notably with the Astros before they hired Bo Porter) and he could be a candidate to continue as the Rangers' skipper if he impresses over the final month of the season. With so many star players back healthy in 2015, the Rangers' job could arguably be the most attractive managerial opening of the offseason.
- The Diamondbacks fired general manager Kevin Towers, sources told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Towers becomes the second NL West GM to be dismissed during the 2014 campaign, as Padres GM Josh Byrnes was let go earlier in the summer. Arizona later announced via press release that Towers was removed from the general manager position. The club said that it will open a search for a new GM, with the interview process beginning this week. "Any additional changes within the Baseball Operations department will be decided upon jointly" between LaRussa, President and CEO Derrick Hall, and the new GM, according to the announcement. Candidates for the position include player agent Dave Stewart, Cardinals exec Gary LaRocque, Diamondbacks scouting director Ray Montgomery, Angels director of pro scouting Hal Morris, and Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona wrote.
- The Indians claimed outfielder J.B. Shuck off waivers from the Angels, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reported. Cleveland will send money back to Los Angeles to complete the deal. The move is a homecoming for Shuck, who was born in Westerville, Ohio and went to Ohio State. Shuck has experience at all three outfield positions and could be a longer-term option for Cleveland since he's controlled through the 2018 season. Shuck has a .272/.316/.344 slash line over 658 career PA with the Angels and Astros.
- The Indians continued to add roster reinforcements on Friday, activating veteran right fielder David Murphyfrom the disabled list and promoting versatile utility man Justin Sellers from Triple-A Columbus. Murphy rejoins Cleveland following a two-game Minor League rehab assignment with Columbus, where he tested out the right oblique strain he sustained on Aug. 9 in New York. Sellers gives Cleveland another backup option at a variety of positions while veteran utility man Mike Aviles deals with concussion symptoms.
- Every small-market team dreams of building a rotation of young, controllable arms, and Peter Gammons (in his latest piece for Gammons Daily) felt the Indians have done just that in Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco,Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer. Salazar was signed as an undrafted high schooler and the other three were acquired in trades, giving the Tribe an enviable collection of pitchers for both their wild card push this season and to stay in contention for years to come.
News and Notes:
- The Blue Jays announced that outfielder Melky Cabrera will be out for the rest of the season with right pinky finger fracture he suffered during Friday's game, and he'll have surgery next week. Cabrera is a free agent after the season, which means his career in Toronto could soon be over. As long as he figures to be healthy for the start of next season, though, he could be in for a nice payday in a free agent market that doesn't feature much hitting. After struggling through the first season of his two-year deal with the Jays, Cabrera has bounced back in 2014, hitting .300/.348/.457 in 619 plate appearances. Cabrera's injury is a blow to the Jays, who have won five games in a row to cling to their playoff hopes but are still 4 1/2 games back of the last Wild Card spot.
- The Angels exercised their 2015 option to retain general manager Jerry Dipoto, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reported. The decision was made around the All-Star break, though Dipoto didn't want to publicize it. The Halos also hold an option on Dipoto for 2016, though no decision has yet been made on that year. Financial terms of Dipoto's contract aren't known.
- "There seems to be genuine internal debate and uncertainty over what the [Mets] will do" regarding managerTerry Collins, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino spoke with another club official that thinks it's difficult to get a feel for Collins' job security, while another added, "I think we have a ways to go before that's decided." General manager Sandy Alderson is a different story, Martino wrote. Not only is Alderson's job safe, Martino reported, but there are signs that he's likely to receive a contract extension from the Mets. Alderson, currently under contract through the 2015 season, has been the Mets' general manager since taking over for Omar Minaya following the 2010 season.
- The Phillies could well attempt to trade outfielder Domonic Brown in an offseason change-of-scenery swap, according to a report from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Looking at Philadelphia's options in the outfield next year, Gelb indicated that a return for Grady Sizemore could be attractive given the dearth of options on the free agent market. Meanwhile, the club could remake the rest of its mix if it were to deal Brown and/or veteran Marlon Byrd.
- Pablo Sandoval and the Giants are still not discussing an extension, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com.
- The Astros have made little progress in negotiations with draft pick Jacob Nix and the situation between the two sides seems likely to proceed to a hearing, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported. The MLBPA filed a grievance on Nix's behalf after Houston withdrew an offer to the fifth-rounder that had seemingly been agreed-upon.
- Koji Uehara will be temporarily replaced by Edward Mujica as the Red Sox closer, manager John Farrelltold reporters yesterday (including MLB.com's Steven Petrella). Uehara has slumped badly over his last few outings, indicating to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal that GM Ben Cherington may have erred in not dealing Uehara at the trade deadline. Uehara is a free agent this winter and, at the very least, his struggles have eliminated any chance of the Sox extending him a qualifying offer.
- Injured Dodgers starter Josh Beckett is out for the season and needs surgery to fix a torn labrum and lesion in his hip. He has not decided whether to play next season, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reported, but it sounds like retirement is a strong possibility. He "sounds like a man ready to walk away," according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
- During a visit to Wrigley Field for yesterday's Pirates/Cubs game, veteran right-hander Carlos Zambranotold reporters (including MLB.com's Carrie Muskat) that he has retired. He had been pitching in his native Venezuela last winter in the hopes of catching on with another Major League club, but it appears as though Zambrano has instead called it a career. The "Big Z" retires with a 132-91 record, 3.66 ERA, 7.5 K/9 and 38.2 rWAR over 1959 innings in the bigs, with 11 of his 12 seasons spent with the Cubs and his final year (2012) spent with the Marlins.
- Angels infielder John McDonald told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that he may end up retiring following the 2014 season. McDonald said he's more than aware of his dwindling playing time — he's received just 81 PA despite appearing in 81 games this season — and knows the market for 40-year-old infielders isn't great. "I got more out of my career than I ever thought was possible," McDonald stated. "I didn't think I'd get a day in the big leagues, let alone parts of 16 years." For the time being, he's trying not to even think about the offseason, however, as it's "just too much fun" to go to the stadium every day in the midst of a pennant race.