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MLBits: Mariners Could Send Ken Griffey Jr. to Japan, Gleyber Torres Getting a Shot, More

MLB News and Rumors

It’s been a busy offseason on the Cubs-rumor front, but there’s plenty of other interesting storyline going on throughout the league. So let’s take a quick walk around MLB to see what’s what today …


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  • The Manager of the Year awards have gone out to Arizona’s Torey Lovullo and Minnesota’s Paul Molitor, following the age-old tradition of limiting the award to skippers of teams that were kinda bad the year before, did not have huge expectations, and then made the playoffs.
  • Starting with the contract details for former-Cubs bench coach and current Nationals Manager Dave Martinez:

  • As Brett mentioned earlier, that’s a fairly modest deal (the Cubs, by contrast, pay Joe Maddon $5M PER YEAR), but for a first time manager who’s been constantly overlooked for similar job openings in recent years, it feels about right. And, hey, it’s not like managing the 2018 Nationals is any small gig. They have a big season ahead of them, as their competitive window figures to close rather dramatically after 2018 (especially if the Phillies and Braves continue on their upward trajectory). Do well, Davey, but not in the postseason.

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  • Former Cubs top prospect and current top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but I’m betting this news helped lift his spirits (and crush yours):

  • Remember: Winning the winning the World Series was worth it.
  • As you may have heard by now, Carlos Beltran has retired from baseball after 20 seasons in the Major Leagues. With 67.2 career WAR, Beltran finishes with the 66th highest total of all time (among position players). For reference, that’s one spot ahead of Andruw Jones, two ahead of Barry Larkin, five ahead of Manny Ramirez, and 13 spots ahead of Tony Gwynn. I can’t say it’ll be unanimous, but he’ll probably eventually land in the Hall of Fame. In any case, Beltran wrote a lovely goodbye to baseball at The Players Tribune, and I’m sure you’ll want to check it out.

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  • But, hey, this isn’t necessarily the end of the baseball line for Beltran. Even if his playing days are over, there may be a big-time baseball gig waiting for him – perhaps soon, too:

  • Okay, wow. Beltran was a great player and obviously well-liked, but an immediate role as a manager for the up-and-coming Yankees is quite a swing for the fences, so to speak. But, hey, who knows. Maybe he’ll kill it with a young, talented team on a big stage.

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  • At the Athletic, Ken Rosenthal writes that the Seattle Mariners are making a big play for two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani and that might include bringing the one and only Ken Griffey Jr. into the process. Indeed, according to Rosenthal, Griffey is “game” to make the trip to Japan to help recruit Ohtani, and that’s a pretty intimidating trump card. Then again, by the time Ohtani was born … again, in Japan … Griffey had already logged six seasons in the Major Leagues. Are we sure he revers Junior as much some older players might?
Brian Bahr /Allsport
  • At MLB.com, Jonathan Mayo takes an early look at some of the potential 2018 Rookie of the Year candidates. But for the first time since the winter of 2014, the Cubs don’t really have any reasonably projectable winners. And adding insult to injury, the Cardinals (Jack Flaherty, Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill), Reds (Tyler Mahle, Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker), and Brewers (Lewis Brinson) have a combined seven mentioned names.
  • If you’re interested, the bat Lou Gherig used to hit his last two home runs (in an exhibition game from 1939) is being auctioned. Details at ESPN.
  • The Cardinals are looking at a May return for top young pitcher Alex Reyes, who’ll then be a little over a year recovered from Tommy John surgery. At that point, though, he might return in the bullpen.

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  • At Baseball is Fun, we checked in on the trailer for the new series from Bill Murray and his brother Brian-Doyle Murray, wherein they road trip across the country and stop at various Minor League parks for some fun:

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.


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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.