Hot Stove Roundup: Cubs tab Renteria for manager
In search of elite starter, Nats could target Cy Young finalist Scherzer in trade
Free agents have been eligible to sign with new teams for two days, and for the most part, the open market has been quiet. But there have been rumors and discussions and, in some cases, a few offers. Additionally, Wednesday brought the end of any speculation regarding open managerial jobs.
• On Thursday, the Cubs will introduce Rick Renteria as their fourth manager in the last five years, a source told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. The former Padres bench coach continued a trend among this offseason's managerial hires, as this will be his first experience as a big league skipper. Of the five Major League managers hired this winter, only Seattle's Lloyd McClendon had previous experience in that role.
Renteria, who managed Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, also interviewed for the Tigers and Mariners jobs. He was highly regarded by San Diego manager Bud Black and the Padres' players.
• The Rays' multi-year pact with David DeJesus became official on Wednesday. DeJesus, who will turn 34 in December, and Tampa Bay agreed on a two-year, $10.5 million deal with a club option for 2016, a contract that replaces the $6.5 million option the Rays picked up on Sunday. The veteran outfielder told reporters his new deal, which lowered his salary for next season, "worked out for both sides."
• Brian McCann is still on the table for the Rangers, and so is a trade involving one of their middle infielders. McCann's agent, B.B. Abbott, said Texas is "certainly an attractive place" for McCann, even after the Rangers signed Geovany Soto to be their regular catcher. Meanwhile, the Rangers have let other teams know they're at least willing to talk about trading Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler or Jurickson Profar. There's no urgency for them to do so, but it's possible they could address a need by trading from that area of strength.
• GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies have "already made offers on several players," though he declined to say which ones. All signs would point toward Philadelphia pursuing a power hitter, particularly one who hits right-handed.
• The Angels signed starting pitcher Chris Volstad to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The 27-year-old right-hander had a strong rookie year for the Marlins in 2008, but has since gone 29-47 with a 5.22 ERA.
• FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal wrote Wednesday that the Nationals are looking for an "elite" starter, noting that Detroit's Max Scherzer would be a better fit than Tampa Bay's David Price given general manager Mike Rizzo's history with Scherzer. Rosenthal also wrote that the Phillies "have gone so far as to kick around" the idea of trading for Price, but it seems like an unlikely outcome.
• Free-agent closer Grant Balfour is drawing interest from five teams, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle: the Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Rays (his former team) and Rockies. According to a report in the Denver Post, Colorado is also interested in Brian Wilson, the former Giants closer who re-emerged in 2013 as a solid setup man for the Dodgers.
• A couple of quick coaching notes:
Passed over by Seattle and Detroit for their managerial openings, Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach could become the club's bench coach. The Tigers retained Jeff Jones as their pitching coach and brought on Dave Clark as their new third-base/outfield coach. Finally, an industry source confirmed to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that the Angels have reached an agreement with former Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein to serve as a hybrid seventh coach.