MLB In Full Bloom 11/6/2013

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98 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

145 – Number of days until Opening Day

As General Managers and Owners make their way to Orlando next week for their annual meetings, there is just one General Manager and Owner that needs to hire a manager for next season. That team is the Chicago Cubs and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. There are multiple reports floating around that this search is close to coming to an end as soon as today or tomorrow. Rick Renteria appears to be the front runner and I think he is the right guy for the job for multiple reasons and I outline them in today's addition of MLB In Full Bloom.

News & Notes

  • The big news today in baseball is that Lloyd McClendon has been named the Seattle Mariners new manger. McClendon did not do a great job in his first managerial job with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but that was a bad Pirates team. McClendon is the 8th Mariners manger since Lou Piniella left Seattle in 2003, which is the most in baseball. This screams dysfunction within the organization to me and this choice of McClendon needs to work for the organization. They have tried everything in Seattle and they have not been successful. They have swung and missed at big free agents and its not like they are not willing to write the big checks because they have made big offers. In addition, they have developed their own players and have kept them. The biggest name  is Felix Hernandez just to name one.
  • The Chicago Cubs are the only major league team without a manager. Rick Renteria is the favorite to be the Cubs manager and it appears an announcement is coming soon. Renteria is a strong teacher and with a young Cubs roster that is a key to the Cubs brass. Renteria has been in the game a long time and he has been a bench coach with the San Diego Padres. He knows Anthony Rizzo and Jedd Hoyer from their days in San Diego and Renteria should make a good fit.
  • The Washington Nationals are looking for some elite starting pitching. There is very little talent on the free agent market so the Nationals are going to have to find it via the trade market. David Price is mentioned, but I doubt Price ends up with the Nationals.
  • The Arizona Fall League began before the World Series started, but very few paid attention. That all changed this week because instant replay rules are being reviewed for the first time. In a game last night between the Mesa Solar Sox and the Salt River Raptors there were four players reviewed and none of them were overturned. We learned a couple things about how the process could look on Opening Day next season. First, a head set was brought out to the home plate umpire for each challenge that was made during the game for him to communicate with the umpire reviewing the play. Second, each review was done quickly. The longest review lasted 1 minute and 18 seconds. Its all experimental and it could all change by Opening Day, but they are implementing it now and first impressions were positive.
  • Dustin Pedroia will have thumb replacement surgery on November 12th in Arizona. Pedroia sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb while making a head-first dive at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day, and dealt with the injury all season. Now that the season is over, he can get the surgery.
  • Geovany Soto and the Texas Rangers agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday. Rangers manager Ron Washington said,"he's our guy" so it appears we can scratch the Rangers off the list as one of the teams that would be pursuing free agent catcher Brian McCann.