The Yankees have spoken with veteran Royals outfielder Raul Ibanez about their hitting coach position, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. Since Ibanez was still technically a Royal during the team’s World Series run (although he was not on their active roster), the Yankees waited until late this week to contact him. The 42-year-old Ibanez has an excellent clubhouse reputation, although, obviously, he has never been a professional hitting coach. The Yankees have interviewed Chili Davis (who ended up in Boston) and Dave Magadan (who returned to the Rangers). Here are more notes from the East divisions. The Phillies‘ pair of deals involving current Giants star Hunter Pence turned out horribly, Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News writes. Jarred Cosart is already contributing in the big leagues, and Jon Singleton and Domingo Santana, who joined Cosart in heading to Houston when the Phillies acquired Pence, are both promising. Meanwhile, little remains of the Phillies’ haul when they sent Pence to San Francisco — catcher Tommy Joseph has struggled to stay healthy, while pitcher Seth Rosin, who will be 26 next week, was demoted to Double-A at one point this summer
The Brewers are planning an announcement Monday regarding reports that they have rehired former front-office official Ray Montgomery to lead Milwaukee’s amateur scouting department, general manager Doug Melvin said late Friday.
The Blue Jays will exercise their team option on lefty starter J.A. Happ, paying $6.7MM rather than a $200K buyout, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Prior to the 2013 season, the Jays signed Happ to a one-year, $5.4MM extension for 2014 that included the option they’re exercising now. He can become a free agent after the coming season.
The Cubs‘ decision to replace Rick Renteria with Joe Maddon seems “a little dirty,” but the baseball world will go on, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes. The Rays believe the Cubs tampered with Maddon while they had him under contract, and others in the game aren’t happy that Maddon’s situation led to Renteria’s firing. Rosenthal notes that if MLB can prove the Cubs tampered, the Rays could demand a promising young player in compensation, maybe even a player as talented as Javier Baez or Addison Russell. Here’s more from the Central divisions. GM Dave Dombrowski says the Tigers would have retained outfielder Andy Dirks in 2015 if they knew he would be healthy, Tom Gage of the Detroit News tweets.
Though Pablo Sandoval professed his love for the Giants, the third baseman’s ardor apparently isn’t all-encompassing, given his willingness to consider other free-agency options. “I’m going to go where my heart tells me,” Sandoval said Friday after the Giants celebrated their third World Series title in five seasons with a confetti-showered parade through downtown San Francisco.
A third World Series championship parade in five seasons only adds to general manager Brian Sabean’s resume.
The Yankees have hired Eric Chavez, who announced his retirement after playing this season for the D-backs, as a special assignment scout.
Free agent outfielder Alex Rios has hired Scott Boras as his new agent, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets. Rios was previously represented by the Kinzer Management Group. Rios is hiring Boras just as he enters the free agent market for the first time. The 33-year-old was a first-round pick by the Blue Jays in 1999, and the seven-year extension he signed with them in 2008 just came to an end as the Rangers officially declined his team option earlier today. Rios hit .280/.311/.398 with only four home runs in 521 plate appearances with Texas in 2014. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes projected Rios would get one year and $8.5MM this offseason.
The Dodgers have declined their option on starting pitcher Chad Billingsley, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Given the cost of the option ($14MM minus a $3MM buyout) and Billingsley’s struggles to stay healthy, the move comes as no surprise. Billingsley was once among baseball’s more promising young arms, but he’s pitched only 12 big league innings since September 2012 after a series of elbow injuries and setbacks. He had Tommy John surgery in April 2013. For his career, Billingsley has a 3.65 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in parts of eight seasons, but he’s now very far removed from his last productive season. The Dodgers took Billingsley in the first round in 2003, and he’s spent his entire career with Los Angeles, but now, at age 30, he’s a free agent.