I’ve always been a Billy Wagner fan. He threw HARD – and gave great effort to do so. Few left handed closers could match his career. And now, according to the NY Post, that career might be over. According to sources, he wants to close games near his home in Virginia, and Boston declined his option so that Wagner could pursue his own deal. (Washington needs help, but it might be a few years before the Nationals are competitive, and Baltimore has a couple of options but none as good as Wagner if he’s healthy.). Even after Tommy John surgery, Wagner had some success in 17 outings… Sources say that Wagner is going to put his family first in making a decision about playing again. [MLB]
Joba Chamberlain will stay in the pen… Manager Joe Girardi will stay with a three-man rotation for the foreseeable future. C.C. Sabathia gets the opener (against Angel John Lackey), while A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte will get the other starts. [SI]
Jose Cruz will no longer coach first base for the Astros. However, he will get another position in the organization. In fact, a lot of coaches are pursuing other options – though Sean Berry, the hitting coach keeps his gig. Doesn’t the new manager (whomever it will be) get a say in this? [MLB]
GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy will be retained by San Francisco for 2010. Now, if Sabean can find some offense to match the pitching staff, they could be playing next October, too. [ESPN]
In fact, the entire Bay Area baseball coaching world can rest assured that a job remains next year. Oakland announced that they will be retaining the manager and coaching staff.
Meanwhile, the Indians are saying WHO they are talking to (except in mentioning that Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell was contacted), but they are making like Houston and talking to a lot of people about replacing Eric Wedge as manager. [ESPN]
Hot Stove League… Tim Hudson wants a “wow'” offer, or he might decline his 2010 option (worth $12 million) and become a free agent. The Braves have a lot of pitching right now – if it were me, I might let him test the market. [FoxSports]
But I wanted an autograph… Steiner Sports is suing Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina for not living up to obligations linked to marketing ventures. Molina was supposed to signing autographs and attending events and what not, received an advance, but has refused to do any work. [ESPN]
Hurry Back! Seattle catcher Rob Johnson will have operations on both hips and his left wrist – but plans on being ready for spring training… And, Nationals reliever Mike MacDougal also had arthroscopic hip surgery, but should be ready for March. [ESPN]
Happy Birthday! Yankee Manager Joe Girardi turns 45 today… I know what he wants for a present. Others on the birthday list include: Ivy Olson (1885), Oscar Charleston (1896), Harry (The Cat) Brecheen (1914), Tommy Harper (1940), Art Shamsky (1941), Al Oliver (1946), Ed Figueroa (1948), Willie Mays Aikens (1954), Ryan Church (1978), Boof Bonser (1981), and Carlos Marmol (1982).
What do I have to do to get this kind of marketing from MLB? Look for a new book about the 1912 World Series by Michael Vaccaro…