Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Friday that he told Albert Almora he'd have "more" of a role in 2018.

It's possible that means Almora is an everyday player, although Epstein wouldn't guarantee that. Epstein's pronouncement isn't terribly surprising after Almora put up a better-than-expected .298/.338/.445 batting line in 2017 while playing superb defense in center field. The key for the 23-year-old going forward will be whether he can hit righties, as he's a career .320/.377/.503 hitter against lefties but holds just a .320/.377/.503 line versus righties.
Oct 20 - 5:06 PM

Jake Petricka had a nerve transposition in his right elbow on Friday.

The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Petricka will begin a throwing program in 3-4 months, so he should have a relatively normal spring training if all goes well during his rehab.
Oct 20 - 4:50 PM

Chase Headley is starting in the designated hitter spot and batting ninth for the Yankees in Friday's ALCS Game 6 versus the Astros.

Headley hasn't done much this postseason, but he had three hits in Game 5, earning another start in the DH spot Friday. The Yankees' full lineup is as follows: Brett Gardner LF, Aaron Judge RF, Didi Gregorius SS, Gary Sanchez C, Greg Bird 1B, Starlin Castro 2B, Aaron Hicks CF, Todd Frazier 3B, Headley DH.
Oct 20 - 4:45 PM

Evan Gattis is starting in the designated hitter spot and batting eighth for the Astros in ALCS Game 6 on Friday versus the Yankees.

Carlos Beltran has started four of the five games so far this series in the DH spot, but it will be Gattis in there Friday against right-hander Luis Severino. The Astros' full lineup looks like this: George Springer CF, Josh Reddick RF, Jose Altuve 2B, Carlos Correa SS, Yulieski Gurriel 1B, Alex Bregman 3B, Marwin Gonzalez LF, Gattis DH, Brian McCann C.
Oct 20 - 4:27 PM

Daniel Murphy underwent a debridement and microfracture surgery on Friday to repair damage to the articular cartilage in his right knee.

Murphy tore the MCL in the same knee many years ago but this is the first we've heard of any knee issues since then. The Nationals did not reveal a timetable for his return, only saying that he will rehab "throughout the offseason." It's a significant operation, so it's certainly possible that Murphy will be limited in spring training.
Oct 20 - 3:21 PM

MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports that the Phillies have interviewed Giants third base coach Phil Nevin for their managerial opening.

Nevin was a finalist for the Diamondbacks' job a couple years ago before being hired to the Giants' coaching staff last winter. Zolecki adds that Dodgers player development director Gabe Kapler has either interviewed or is scheduled to interview. Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway and A's third base coach Chip Hale have also been interviewed.
Oct 20 - 3:15 PM

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that Cardinals bench coach David Bell has left the team in order to take a job as the Giants' farm director.

Bell had been with the Cardinals since 2014 as their assistant hitting coach and then bench coach. He was previously a third base coach with the Cubs and a manager in the Reds' minor league system.
Oct 20 - 3:07 PM

Tigers manager Al Avila said Friday that the team will decline Anibal Sanchez's $16 million option for 2018.

The decision was a mere formality, of course. Sanchez had a nice 104/29 K/BB ratio over 105 1/3 innings this season, but he posted a 6.41 ERA and has put up a 5.67 mark across the last three campaigns. Slated to turn 34 in February, Sanchez will probably have a tough time finding a guaranteed rotation spot in 2018.
Oct 20 - 1:58 PM

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Mets hitting coach Kevin Long "has been viewed as the favorite" for the team's manager job, but Mariners third base coach Manny Acta "has emerged as a legitimate possibility."

Astros bench coach Alex Cora, White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing and Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway have also interviewed for the gig, but Cora is expected to take the Red Sox' job and it sounds like McEwing and Callaway are unlikely to be picked by the Mets. Sherman says that the club could make a contract offer to a manager as soon as Friday and want to finalize a deal this weekend.
Oct 20 - 1:50 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears from "some with the Nationals" that pitching coach Mike Maddux could be a candidate to replace Dusty Baker.

Maddux has never been a manager at any level, but he's interviewed for multiple manager posts in the past. He was the Nats' pitching coach the past two seasons and was the pitching coach in Milwaukee and Texas prior to that.
Oct 20 - 1:24 PM

The Tigers on Friday announced the hiring of Ron Gardenhire as their new manager.

Gardenhire has received a three-year contract. The former Twins skipper went 1,068-1,039 in 13 seasons in Minnesota and this past season served as the Diamondbacks' bench coach. It'll be a tough gig for the soon-to-be 60-year-old, as the Tigers are facing a rebuilding effort.
Oct 20 - 12:39 PM

The Nationals will not bring back manager Dusty Baker for the 2018 season.

The Nats won back-to-back National League East titles under Baker, but they were eliminated in Game 5 of the NLDS both seasons. That, and the ownership group reportedly being unhappy when Baker complained at midseason that he hadn't been given a contract extension, appears to have cost the skipper his job. The Nationals will be hiring their seventh manager in 14 seasons. No manager has lasted more than 2 1/2 years on the job.
Oct 20 - 12:13 PM

David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves will drop bench coach Terry Pendleton and first base coach Eddie Perez from the coaching staff.

O'Brien says it's possible both of them could remain in the organization in the front office or in some sort of other role. Former Rockies manager Walt Weiss is expected to replace Pendleton as the team's new bench coach, which had been previously reported. Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, whose job had appeared to be in jeopardy, will be retained.
Oct 20 - 12:11 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Athletics third base coach Chip Hale has interviewed for the Phillies' managerial opening.

Hale was fired by the Diamondbacks after going 148-176 in two seasons. Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway is also known to be a candidate for the Phillies' job, and Heyman also lists Phillies special assistant Jorge Velandia, Phillies minor-league manager Dusty Wathan and Red Sox bench coach Gary DiSarcina among the names that have "surfaced."
Oct 20 - 9:53 AM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports writes that Masahiro Tanaka not using the opt-out clause in his contract "does not seem like such a safe assumption anymore."

Heyman says that "there had been an assumption by many" that Tanaka would not opt out of the three years and $67 million remaining on his deal with the Yankees, but the righty could be re-evaluating things following his brilliant run this postseason. Tanaka, who turns 29 in a couple weeks, would surely be able to get more than three years and $67 million on the open market even though he's been pitching with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament for a few years. Heyman was told by a Yankees source that the club wouldn’t "chase" Tanaka if he did opt out, although he was told that prior to Tanaka's superb showing during the playoffs. The Yanks "are determined to get below the $197 million luxury tax threshold" this offseason, according to Heyman.
Oct 20 - 9:41 AM



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