AL Central Notes: Maddon, White Sox, Hedges, Guardians, Twins
Because the White Sox proceed to hunt for a brand new supervisor, one distinguished identify but to be concerned within the combine is Joe Maddon. The previous Rays/Cubs/Angels skipper advised the Cubs Discuss podcast (on NBC Sports activities Chicago, hat tip to Tim Stebbins) that “I’ve not heard from [the White Sox] in any respect,” although Maddon would “in fact…have an interest” in chatting with the crew. Maddon has but to be publicly linked to any of the open managerial vacancies this winter, although he has remained within the information on account of a publicity tour for his upcoming ebook.
For a White Sox crew that’s reportedly hoping to switch Tony La Russa with one other skilled supervisor, Maddon would appear like an intriguing candidate on paper, given each his lengthy and profitable monitor report and his previous Chicago ties. Nevertheless, of the 4 candidates linked to this point to the Sox job, two (Ron Washington and Ozzie Guillen) have previous expertise managing within the majors, whereas the opposite two (Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol and Astros bench coach Joe Espada) could be first-time skippers on the MLB stage.
Extra from across the AL Central…
- There’s mutual curiosity between the Guardians and Austin Hedges in a reunion, Guards president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti advised The Cleveland Plain Supplier’s Paul Hoynes and different reporters. Hedges is slated at no cost company this winter, and was once more one of many sport’s stronger defensive catchers. For a Guardians crew that has prioritized glovework and game-calling behind the plate, this has been sufficient to make sure common taking part in time for Hedges, regardless of his lack of manufacturing as a hitter. Hedges has hit solely .189/.247/.331 over 2001 profession plate appearances with San Diego and Cleveland — his 54 wRC+ is the bottom of any participant in baseball (minimal 2000 PA) because the begin of the 2015 season. The Guardians have prospect Bo Naylor knocking on the door and one other veteran catcher in Luke Maile till arbitration management, although Maile is a non-tender candidate. Hedges’ price ticket shouldn’t be too prohibitive, which may enable Cleveland to create some competitors in Spring Coaching and maybe make Maile the odd man out even when he was tendered a contract.
- The Twins are on the lookout for a brand new head coach this offseason, as soon as once more seeking to fill a place that has been a revolving door for the group. As La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune factors out, the Twins have already had three head trainers since 2016, and there was loads of different personnel turnover within the power and conditioning departments. Whereas it’s frequent for groups to often bear some staffing modifications, the dearth of consistency stands out regarding the Twins, on condition that they had been buried by accidents all through the season.