Inside Baseball MLB Notes: Baltimore double vacancies predictable, belie past success

Taking an abbreviated trip around the majors with all the teams who haven’t already headed into winter hibernation, all from the playoff trail (New York on Wednesday, Milwaukee Thursday and Friday).  
 
Atlanta Braves
— For all their great young pitching prospects, the second and third playoff starters are expected to be two veteran guys who didn’t start the year with the team — Anibal Sanchez and Kevin Gausman … 
— Dansby Swanson (hand) is hoping to make it back if the Braves get past the NLDS … 
— Lots of memories for the Braves about their last playoff trip to Dodger Stadium, when Craig Kimbrel should have been called on to pitch the eighth inning, and Juan Uribe wound up hitting the game-winning homer against David Carpenter …

— Mark Bowman of MLB.com points out the Braves have a .780 OPS vs. lefties (second best in the NL), which is important since the Dodgers’ rotation is stocked with lefties.
 
Baltimore Orioles
— Baltimore became the third team in the market for a new GM when Dan Duquette was told he wasn’t being retained on Wednesday. It was a bit unusual the Orioles had Duquette execute several major trades at the deadline (and the trades generally went well, especially the five-for-one deal with the Dodgers for Manny Machado) if they weren’t going to bring him back …
— One thing to remember: Orioles owner Peter Angelos wouldn’t let Duquette interview for the Blue Jays president job when Toronto showed interest a few years back … 
— Buck Showalter has a proven record of leaving teams when they are on the verge of something good, and both the Diamondbacks and Yankees won the World Series the year after he was let go from those jobs. It’s probably a lot to expect the same from the Orioles after their 115-loss season. Mike Bordick and Billy Ripken are seen as early contenders to be the next Orioles manager, for what it's worth.

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Boston Red Sox
— Alex Cora brought some ideas from Houston with him, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.


 
Chicago Cubs
— Joe Maddon had to be brought back after one of his better performances, but word is out that his Cubs bosses are frustrated because he does what he wants. Well, it’s hard to argue with the results: another 95-win season despite key injuries to Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow and Kris Bryant, not to mention Addison Russell’s spousal abuse issue … 
— Neither side has broached the subject of an extension, which means he returns as a lame duck (albeit an expensive duck). Even if everything was perfect, the reality is that no one is paying a manager $6 million per year anymore. (That’s been Maddon’s salary since winning the World Series won him a $1 million bonus) … 
— Anthony Rizzo is the first left-handed hitting Cubs player to have four 100-RBI seasons.

RELATED: Girardi interviews for Reds job
 
Cincinnati Reds
— The Reds have a strong quintet of managerial candidates, who all made our list of 57 from a week ago. Giants farm director David Bell, ex-Red Sox manager John Farrell, ex-Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and ex-Yankees/Marlins manager Joe Girardi plus their own interim manager Jim Riggleman are all in the mix. Bell, from the iconic Bell baseball family of Cincinnati and son of Buddy (who’s currently in the Reds front office), should not be discounted as he’s had a variety of jobs, including three years spent as the Cardinals’ bench coach. Farrell, with his pitching expertise and resume that includes several years as a strong pitching coach, could be tempting, as Cincinnati has a system of strong-armed kids who haven’t developed as well as they would have liked. Riggleman has a fan in the owner’s chair (Bob Castellini) which can’t hurt, and they like the way he handled a tough assignment. They should … 
— Whomever they hire to manage, they need to avoid signing mistakes (i.e. Homer Bailey) and bad trades (four top young players — Edinson Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger — for Mat Latos) … 
— C. Trent Rosecrans wrote about the emergence of shortstop Jose Peraza.
 
Colorado Rockies
— Kyle Freeland really had an under-the-radar great year. It’s interesting to note he didn’t allow an unearned run all year while compiling a 2.84 ERA as a Coors Field pitcher… 
— Bench coach Mike Redmond should not have been omitted from the managerial list of 57 here last week. He is obviously doing a nice job.

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Kansas City Royals
— Ned Yost accepted the offer to stay for one more year, but the strong belief is that it will be his last year. The days of the expensive, 60-plus manager seem to be winding down, though the Royals have more heart than most – and wanted to give Yost the year in seeming appreciation for all he’s done … 
— They see Whit Merrifield as a latter-day Pete Rose. Don’t laugh. He led MLB in hits. Terrific player. They have a hard decision whether to offer him an extension this winter.
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
— Walker Buehler looks like a star. And he continues the trend of fine draft choices by scouting director Billy Gasparino. His last five first rounders include Hunter Renfoe (No. 13 pick), Trea Turner (No. 13), Buehler (No. 24), Gavin Lux (No. 20) and Will Smith (No. 32). None of them were especially high in the first round but all will be contributors or better at the major-league level … 
— Lux is beloved already (and was the main target of the Orioles in Manny Machado talks) … 
— Hyun-Jin Ryu was the surprise choice for Game 1 starter. He has been nothing short of brilliant lately. Clayton Kershaw goes in Game 2 … 
— Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times reported the Dodgers are working on a new deal for Dave Roberts. They hold an option for 2019 on him but presumably, it will be a lot longer than that … 
— Roberts, it should be noted, made the right call to save Buehler for the tie-breaker rather than pitch him in a must-win game No. 162 against a dead-in-the-water Giants.

RELATED: Forget the injuries, Joe Mauer has been worth it
 
Minnesota Twins
— After seeing Joe Mauer greet his two toddler daughters in the field in the season finale, folks around the team are convinced he is ready to hang ‘em up. Of course, given some time and distance (from the season) to think about it, you never know if he might change his mind …
— The Derek Falvey/Thad Levine tandem wanted their own guy, which is the easiest explanation why smart/good guy Paul Molitor, who happened to be receptive to analytic ideas (including the opener) and more importantly also happens to be an icon in the Twin Cities as a St. Paul native, was let go. It was surprising since he did such a fantastic job only a year ago, when he earned a new three-year contract. He was said to have been surprised … 
— Derek Shelton, the new bench coach who was with Falvey in Cleveland, is the top in-house candidate for the managerial job, as was reported here first. He is very well-liked, and not just by the team president … 
— Eddie Guardado and Gene Glynn from the coaching staff  are close to Molitor and may leave … 
— The Twins lost a couple guys who turned into major leaguers elsewhere, including Daniel Palka, Niko Goodrum and Randy Rosario. But that’s small potatoes compared to the problem of the underperformance of their young players (Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Miguel Sano). One longtime Twins watcher said he still very much believes in Buxton but opined that Sano should have been traded “long ago.”

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
— The Mets lost one of their early favorites for the GM job when Ben Cherington informed them he decided to stay with the Blue Jays. That of course does not preclude him from pursuing a different job, though there’s no word indicating that yet. Cherington was Sandy Alderson’s choice to be added to the Mets front office last year, and at the time the Mets hired Omar Minaya instead. Cherington is also in touch with Alderson so he may have gotten some insight into the job. Andy Martino of SNY first mentioned that Cherington won't be interviewing with the Mets … 
— Best wishes to Alderson, an all-time great baseball executive who recently underwent his cancer surgery. He is said to be doing well … 
— Some other names believed to be on the list include analytically strong executives such as Josh Byrnes, Matt Arnold and Chaim Bloom, so the narrative that only old scouts need apply could well be wrong. Byrnes, runner-up when Sandy Alderson got the job, would be a strong candidate, and top Mets executive Omar Minaya worked for him in San Diego, but it isn’t known whether he’d take the interview. Gary Larocque, a Cardinals executive, is known to be set to interview and Diamondbacks assistant GM Jared Porter has also been discussed … 
— Ex-Brewers GM Doug Melvin, whose fine job in Milwaukee is on display now, is getting an interview, Mike Puma of the N.Y. Post reported. He has been mentioned here before as a candidate … 
— Minaya is said to have great influence over the process due to his close relationship with Mets owner Fred Wilpon… 
— The Ron Darling-Dennis Eckersley tandem on TBS was said by people who listened to be “fantastic.”

RELATED: Machado, maybe Harper like Yankees | Is Justus Sheffield the next David Price
 
New York Yankees
— Andrew McCutchen is said to have loved his time around the Yankees, so perhaps they would consider bringing him back.  The Yankees showed some interest in Orioles CF Adam Jones, but the sides didn't go deep in talks after Jones said he preferred to finish things out with the Orioles, just as he had done in rejecting a trade to the Phillies … 
— McCutchen's presence has turned longtime Yankees — the longest-tenured current Yankee, in fact — Brett Gardner into a backup. He’s been great for the team over the years (as well as a Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman favorite ‚ something they agreed on), they will surely turn down Gardy’s $12.5 million option and buy him out for $2 million … 
— Time to go: The game on the Yankee Stadium scoreboard where they “mash” two players faces into one, and the players have to guess who it is.


 
Oakland Athletics
— Hard to argue with whatever the A’s do, but the “opener” strategy produced a 4-5 record and 5.29 ERA in September compared to 12-5 and 3.31 ERA in games in which they employed a regular type starter … 
— Edwin Jackson is one of the amazing stories of the year, and if a Comeback Player of the Year were awarded here, he’d have to be strongly considered.

RELATED: Could Phillies land Machado or Harper? | Phillies can't be married to "The Process"
 
Philadelphia Phillies
— Aaron Nola’s year is all the more remarkable when you consider he allowed only one unearned run on a team that was one of the worst defensively in years.

RELATED: Interim Shildt may be the right man to manage Cardinals full-time | Friends say Joe Girardi wanted Cardinals job badly
 
St. Louis Cardinals
— Accidentally omitted from our managerial list of 57 last week was Mike Matheny … 
— Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wondered aloud whether the Cardinals were “hasty” in giving Mike Shildt a three-year extension so quickly after his ascension.


San Diego Padres
— Franmil Reyes looks like a potential star out of nowhere ...
— Joey Lucchesi was impressive and could be a rotation fixture ... 
— Freddy Galvis did his usual brilliant job in the field, but the Padres will again be considering shortstops this winter. Fernando Tatis Jr. one of the best prospects in the game, of course isn't far off ... 
— Longtime scout Chris Bourjos, father of MLB OF Peter, was let go.

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San Francisco Giants
— Names heard connected to the GM job include Rays executive Chaim Bloom, Brewers exec. Matt Arnold and ex-Padres/Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes (who is currently working for the Dodgers and also once worked for the Rockies. If Byrnes is hired, he’d have turned that rare trick of working for every team in the division. (Steve Finley did it as a player in the NL West., which is a very cozy division, and Steve Pearce accomplished it this year in the AL East when he joined the Red Sox) … 
— Farm director David Bell is a serious candidate for the Reds managing job.


 
Texas Rangers
— Mark DeRosa’s name has been linked to the managerial job in Texas. His seems to be a relatively hot name this winter.

RELATED: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could file grievance | 57 candidates primed for an MLB managerial post
 
Toronto Blue Jays
— The belief is the Blue Jays will hire someone young to grow with their young team. Stubby Clapp, who won two Manager of the Year awards with Triple-A Memphis, could be a candidate. Clapp is a Canadian, which doesn’t hurt. Mark DeRosa, who finished his career in Toronto and appears to be a hot candidate, plus two more from MLB Network — Sean Casey and Dave Valle — could be of interest. If Clapp is hired, he’d be the first Canadian to hold the position with the Jays. Phillies bench coach Rob Thomson is another well-regarded Canadian, and he'd make sense as a candidate, too.

RELATED: Which superstar will win the offseason?
 
Washington Nationals
— GM Mike Rizzo said he anticipates Davey Martinez being brought back to manage. As was pointed out elsewhere, he said the same last year in regard to Dusty Baker before the owners pulled the plug.

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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