More baseball news to brighten your day as teams continue to make managerial changes, and some have even begun signing their players and sure up their team for 2014.
The Angels have fired bench coach Rob Piccilo and hitting coach Jim Eppard, while retaining general manager Jerry DiPoto and manager Mike Sciosca. Owner Arte Moreno decided the best course of action along with his GM and manager, so it seems that they essentially let him fire everyone in order to save their jobs.
The Astros have hired Cardinal minor league pitching instructor Brent Strom as their new pitching coach. Houston had already made several changes to the coaching staff, but plan to keep Bo Porter as the manager.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have fired hitting coach Chad Mottola and first base coach Dwayne Murphy. After such a disappointing season when there was so much expected of them, it isn't surprising to see someone get the axe.
The Cubs have wasted no time sitting around during the playoffs. They signed Ryan Sweeney to a two-year $3.5 million. He will get $1.5 million per year with the inclusion of a $2.5 million option for a third year or a $500,000 buyout. The deal could lock him up through his age-31 season.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting catcher Miguel Montero had surgery on his left index finger to clean up an infection. While it doesn't sound serious, he also missed time last spring with an infection in his thumb.
The Mariners plan to extend Kendrys Morales a qualifying offer, but it is very likely that he will decline in search of a long term deal elsewhere. He had his second above-average offensive season since returning from his broken ankle injury that kept him out of action in 2011. While the Yankees offense could absolutely use a bat like his, they don't have much of a place to play him. Mark Teixeira will be back and the DH will likely remain a rotation of Derek Jeter, Tex, and Alex Rodriguez.
The Phillies have hired Larry Bowa as their new bench coach and Pete Mackanin as their new third base coach. Bow played for the Phillies from 1970-1981, then became a coach with the team from 1989-1996 before serving as manager from 2001-2004. He was a coach with the Yankees during the 2006 and 2007 seasons and followed Joe Torre to the Dodgers.
The Rockies have exercised their $11 million club option for Jorge De La Rosa and are now looking into extending the 32-year-old. Not that it was ever likely to happen, but that removed one possible free agent targets for the Yankees, who could have been attracted to the veteran lefty.