Inside Baseball MLB Notes: Snitker, Roberts, Melvin will land the extensions they deserve

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Taking our weekly trip around the majors, with a focus on the teams still (or recently) playing and those who are already making moves: 
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
— Best wishes to Brad Ziegler, who announced his retirement on Twitter. Good reliever, great guy. 

Atlanta Braves
— No surprise, the Braves plan to present a new contract to manager Brian Snitker, who did a very nice job this year. The Braves love how much the players take to Snitker, and prioritize stability … 
— With a new regime, it won’t be a surprise if there are a few changes, though … 
— While Nick Markakis had a fabulous season, the Braves do not plan to extend the $17.9-million qualifying offer. If he were on a bigger spending team, it might be extended. But with the Braves, they just couldn’t swing it, not with their budget … 
— With Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and of course Markakis … 
— The Braves will talk about bringing back Kurt Suzuki. They like the combo, with Tyler Flowers, who previously was extended, as Fancred first reported … 
— The Braves were happy with Dansby Swanson’s improved defense. Coach Ron Washington deserves a lot of credit for that … 
— Mike Soroka has begun throwing. With him in the rotation, the Braves would be much more formidable … 
— Anibal Sanchez said he wants to pitch again next year, he told Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution … 
— Braves people understood they were in over their heads against the Dodgers. Everyone around the game did. (But their future is very bright.)


Boston Red Sox
— J.D. Martinez had six RBI, zero strikeouts in ALDS, Giancarlo Stanton had the opposite … 
— Funny that John Henry doesn’t like the coverage, and thinks it’s too negative. He owns the Boston Globe. Perhaps he should make some personnel hires. From here, I’d just say the Red Sox writers are just more passionate than most … 
— Nathan Eovaldi, Yankee killer, has turned out to be a great pickup … 
— Angel Hernandez seems to be treated even better since he filed suit against MLB for failing to give him plum assignments. And well, they gave him the ALDS series featuring the Yankees and Red Sox, and he had an all-time bad performance in Game 3, with three of four challenged calls at first base overturned. Here’s an alternate explanation for why he doesn’t always get the World Series: he’s only so-so at his job. (Hopefully, he won’t sue me.) …
— There was no dumber controversy than Aaron Judge caught playing “New York, New York” after a victory. What’d you expect? “Please Come to Boston.” … 
— The Red Sox came pretty close to a deal for Kelvin Herrera when the Nats briefly shopped him at the trade deadline as they fell out of contention. Herrera wound up being lost for the year with a foot injury, anyway. They didn’t have the pieces to get the other top relievers, but scored with Eovaldi, Steve Pearce and Ian Kinsler … 
— AL MVP candidate (and likely winner, it says here) Mookie Betts has left Legacy and joined Steve Veltman and Ed Cerulo, who previously left Legacy … 
— Jimmy Rollins and Pedro Martinez are terrific. But what charm does TBS see in Gary Sheffield? It’s lost on me anyway.

RELATED: Girardi interviews for Reds job
 
Cincinnati Reds
— David Bell is thought to be the favorite for the manager’s job, as was written here 
— Charlie Montoyo, a great minor-league manager who is Kevin Cash’s bench coach, was an inspired choice for an interview. He is a good candidate  … 
— The Reds have interviewed 11 known candidates, and they are doing a very good job … 
— The Reds talked to Eduardo Perez, son of Reds icon Tony Perez but more importantly a great managerial candidate. But it isn’t known whether he will have a full interview … 
— There was serious discussion over whether to interview Mike Matheny, which would make sense due partly due to his NL Central knowledge. But to this point, they have not done so … 
— Joe Oliver, who’s managed in the Red Sox minors the last four years and was part of the Reds’ surprise 1990 World Series winning team, could be a good candidate for a coaching job …
— Michael Lorenzen would like to become a starter, which would allow him to pinch hit four days a week. He was easily the best hitting pitcher this year, and should become the first reliever to win the Silver Slugger, as Reds p.r. man extraordinaire Rob Butcher said.
 
Cleveland Indians
— Jose Ramirez struggled for the second straight playoffs, and is 2 for 30 combined … 
— Francisco Lindor is headed for his first arbitration. Kris Bryant and Mookie Betts both topped $10M in their first year of eligibility, so Lindor will be in for quite a raise.


 
Detroit Tigers
— The last time the Tigers let go a broadcaster there was a huge controversy and backlash, so much so that the Tigers  had to bring back the legendary Ernie Harwell. The decision to fire Rod Allen and Mario Impemba won’t cause that same sort of controversy. They were a nice team for a long time before their in-game fight following an apparent late-season disagreement over a chair. Impemba’s story is that Allen attacked him after the chair dispute. Allen, who’s an otherwise terrific guy, is famous for humorously chasing the pitcher all over the field after being beaned during a game in Japan.


 
Houston Astros
— George Springer is making a case as one of the great clutch players; he now has eight homers in his last nine postseason games … 
— Forrest Whitley continues to look like a big star.
 
Kansas City Royals
— It seems to be pretty well known, as was suggested in this space, that barring something unforeseen next year will be the last year for Ned Yost. The Royals are a very kind organization and are rewarding him for the two World Series appearances …
— Some are saying Pedro Grifol should have made my list of top managerial candidates. “He’s quality,” one Royals person said.

RELATED: Eric Chavez appears favorite to be next Angels manager
 
Los Angeles Angels
— While Eric Chavez is viewed as the favorite for the managerial position, the team is going to go through the interview process, which would be expected to last into next month. Chavez did well at Triple-A Salt Lake City in what seemed like a six-week tryout, and he is said to have enjoyed it enough to have interest in the job, the Angels are going to be as thorough as possible. Brad Ausmus was also interviewed and is obviously a strong candidate since he’s a former manager currently working in the front office.


Los Angeles Dodgers
— David Freese, who was available in trade for a year, was recommended by Dodgers exec Raul Ibanez … 
— Ibanez, incidentally, is telling teams he is still happy with his Dodgers front office role. Though perhaps after his son graduates high school in a couple years, he may be ready to go into the dugout.

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Miami Marlins
— Derek Jeter’s explanation for Don Mattingly coming back – “he has a contract” – didn’t sound like he was getting the appreciation he deserved. As we said in this space in recent weeks, there is no sign of an extension … 
— Meantime, the Marlins fired four coaches, including pitching coach Juan Nieves and infield coach Perry Hill, two well-respected guys … 
— As was reported here weeks ago, Dan Straily and perhaps even Jose Urena could be on the trading block this winter. Urena would bring back a nice return, especially after his excellent finish. Both are arbitration eligible … 
— The trade of Kyle Barraclough for international money appears to be a hint they are a big player for Cuban star Victor Victor Mesa, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and MLB Network reported. The Marlins also were at the Miami workout for his brother Victor Mesa Jr. plus Sandy Gaston, who has his own name.


 
Milwaukee Brewers
— Jeremy Jeffress was indeed out a couple games for a medical ailment. While he battled drug issues in the past, despite skepticism, sources say it is indeed a medical issue … 
— Erik Kratz , 38, became the oldest player to make his postseason debut since 1905. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a story …  
— Corey Hart, who was a fantastic interview on Fancred’s “Rivals” show, would make a great candidate for the Brewers front office. He obviously still loves the Crew … 
— Brewers owner Mark Attanasio lives in L.A., and Dodgers owner Mark Walter lives in Chicago (which is sort of a suburb of Milwaukee). Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times on Attanasio the Los Angeleno (by way of the Bronx) … 
— C. Trent Rosecrans had a nice story on GM David Stearns the sportswriter at Harvard. Somehow, I think he made the right career choice … 
— P.R. director Mike Vassallo is hoping to get his second World Series ring after the Yankees failed to give him a ring for the 1999 team when he served as an assistant p.r. director. He took a job with the Reds that winter, and a ring that was promised never came (he did win one with them in 1998). It was at that time, upon learning that Yankee hanger-on Billy Crystal, who was friendly with manager Joe Torre, received a ring, that Vassallo told me (I was at Newsday at the time): “I like City Slickers as much as the next guy but everyone knows he was wearing a Mets hat in the movie.” Fortunately for him, the Brewers have fewer celebrity hangers-on than the Yankees, so Vassallo should be good for the ring.


 
Minnesota Twins
— Derek Shelton is the top in-house candidate to replace Paul Molitor, as reported here. Rocco Baldelli, who is part of the Rays great year, and Brewers coach Pat Murphy, who is obviously part of that fine job, are under consideration, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Hensley Meulens, the former Giants batting coach who is now in their front office, might be a candidate here, as well. Here was my list of 57 candidates for everyone from a few weeks ago. I should have included Mike Matheny and Ron Roenicke in there …
— Miguel Sano “should have been dumped long ago,” one veteran Twins watcher said, even before he got into some hot water after accidentally running over a cop in the Dominican. There were conflicting reports about how serious this episode was but Sano is now said to face no criminal responsibility since the incident was termed accidental. In any case, his career is at “a crossroads” Twins baseball president Derek Falvey allowed.

RELATED: Mets vascillating on old school v. new school GM | Mets expected to go outside for next GM |David Wright preparing for farewell
 
New York Mets
— There’s a split on Mickey Callaway within the Mets’ front office, so expect him to have a short leash in 2019. The Mets have consistently said Callaway will return to manage next year even before hiring a GM. However, some within the Mets’ hierarchy see it as a work in progress that may not work out. Callaway gets credit for keeping the team engaged to the end, as it had a fine finish (just like it had a great start; it was in between that was the trouble). Callaway is also well-liked throughout the organization, but some are questioning whether he’s suited for New York. He got caught shark fishing with Donald Trump Jr. in spring training, which doesn’t play well in New York (though the Mets diffused that early controversy by claiming that it was his players who met Trump or that it as an accidental bump into situation). But most agree he needs to work on deftly handling sticking situations with the press, which is important since there are sticky situations almost daily. Callaway also was the hire of ex GM Sandy Alderson, who doesn’t seem to be called for his first six good years but the last two years that went awry, at least in the Mets’ offices.

RELATED: Machado, maybe Harper like Yankees | Is Justus Sheffield the next David Price
 
New York Yankees 
— Even folks inside the Yankees organization questioned Aaron Boone’s call to go so long with Luis Severino in Game 3 when he quite obviously didn’t have it (or was tipping pitches). And, on the second day, Boone seemed to regret his faith a bit more, so it was obvious they spoke to him … 
— In any case, some even believe he went too long the next night in Game 4 with CC Sabathia, though that wasn’t as obvious. Three innings does not seem like a very long time for a pitcher with his track record, but in an elimination game perhaps a few batters earlier night have worked better … 
— But the reality is, the Red Sox were the better teaming taking out a starter a batter or two earlier would not have made a difference. In the three losses Yankees starters went eight innings, and allowed 14 runs. And Yankees people ultimately can’t and don’t blame Boone; they were simply out-pitched and outhit by a better team … 
— Boone did a nice job during the regular season, and while the trend to hire the inexperienced to manage won’t be reversed immediately, perhaps the Yankees (and Mets) should have hired a bench coach with major-league managing experience to go with their rookie manager. The Yankees have the well-respected (but not so experienced) Josh Bard in that role. Boston’s Alex Cora had the advantage of having old hat Ron Roenicke as his bench coach. (For the record the Yankees say that wasn’t an issue, and point out that excellent pitching coach Larry Rothschild, a former manager, is in the dugout) … 
— Severino’s postseason resume isn’t great at this point, though he did deliver in the Wild Card this year … 
— TBS broadcaster Ron Darling suggested that Severino didn’t give himself enough time with his eight-minute warmup, and others wondered about that as well, but Yankees people say the short warmup is Severino’s routine.


 
Oakland Athletics 
— Manager of the Year candidate Bob Melvin is expected to get the extension he richly deserves. GM David Forst and Billy Bean’s contracts also are up after 2019 (Forst’s term had been unreported), and all have earned extensions.

RELATED: Could Phillies land Machado or Harper? | Phillies can't be married to "The Process"
 
Philadelphia Phillies
— Phillies people suggest they don’t think signing both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper is likely, but no one should rule it out. They are expected to be the most aggressive team in bidding this winter. And while they have a strong connection to Machado, don’t be surprised if it’s Harper instead. Harper is a chance to stick it to the rival Nats, and his big finish made folks notice … 
— Folks around the Phillies suggest Gabe Kapler should be credited for his hard work, and they were surprised by the end how much he had improved. Although, the finish was deadly, and that’s (partly) on the manager. The four veteran pickups didn’t seem to help, though, to be fair.
 
San Diego Padres
— Adrian Gonzalez told MLB Network Radio he’d like to try to play in 2019.

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San Francisco Giants
— Word is, like the Mets, the Giants have had a few turndowns, including Ben Cherington and some others. Generally speaking that’s a bit surprising as this should be one of the more desirable jobs … 
— Managing partner Larry Baer made clear they are looking for analytic strength when he announced they are seeking a “Next Gen” GM. Some around the game wonder about this call considering the Giants won three World Series their way. One old-school executive lamented that the Giants, Twins and Phillies were in the “last bastion,” of scout teams, and the Twins and Phillies already moved toward analytics. Speaking of the Giants, that person said, “They shouldn’t go so drastically away from the approach that was so successful for them?” Young GM candidates who’d fit their hope include Chaim Bloom, Matt Arnold and Mike Elias.

RELATED: Clubhouse culture may have been ultimate culprit in Seattle
 
Seattle Mariners
— The Mariners are in a tough spot after a tough finish, and they are going to have to figure something out about an infield that has the potential for more dissension. The Dee Gordon-Jean Segura fight is one issue, and the other is what to do with Gordon, who was traded to play center field but was moved to second base after Robinson Cano’s ban. Cano accepted a super utility role after his return, but word is he understandably wants second base back. The solution would seem to be to trade Gordon, but his contract, which pays about $13 million annually, would make him “untradeable” in the words of one rival exec.


 
Tampa Bay Rays
— Kevin Cash richly earned his extension. “He’s a rising star,” is the way one executive put it, saying that if he were a free agent after the year, there’d be a feeding frenzy. Cash, who originally signed a five-year, $5-million deal, is a Tampa product, so it’s only natural he wanted to stay.
 
Texas Rangers
— Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the manager’s job was Michael Young’s if he wanted it. That may be right, but we have heard the timing isn’t right for Young …  
— Interim Don Wakamatsu is a real candidate. He never got a fair shake in Seattle, it seemed like … 
— Joe Espada, Astros bench coach, is also a managerial candidate, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported …
— Elvis Andrus’ timing for his opt out wasn’t good, as his injury-plagued year surely prevents him from opting out of $60 million and four years. The good news for him: he has another opt out next year.

RELATED: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could file grievance | 57 candidates primed for an MLB managerial post
 
Toronto Blue Jays
— Marcus Stroman has switched agents, going with Brodie Scoffield, who recently left troubled Legacy. So did Kevin Gausman … 
— Stubby Clapp is managing the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League, and that’s a team comprised of his own Cardinals organization players, plus players from the Jays and a few other teams. It could give the Jays a chance to see if they want to seriously consider him for their managing job. Clapp, a Canadian who had big success in the Cardinals minors, would presumably be good if a fight ever broke up since he grew up a hockey player. He was in one skirmish in the minors, and he incapacitated the other team’s strength coach … 
— The game’s top prospect Vladimir Guerrero already has homered in the Fall League.

RELATED: Which superstar will win the offseason?
 
Washington Nationals
— Some believe outfielder Adam Eaton could be had in trade now that Victor Robles is ready to join the rotation … 
— Kyle Barraclough has a lot of talent but he wasn’t very good in the second half last year … 
— The Nats are doing some serious cost cutting. Assistant GM Bob Miller got caught up in it himself, as well as others in the executive/scout realm. The respected Miller should be able to get another job.

Jon Heyman is Fancred's baseball insider. He publishes his weekly Inside Baseball column each Thursday on the App and FancredSports.com. You can download the App here and interact with Jon by following him right here.

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