The Colorado Rockies announced that they have declined their half of first baseman Justin Morneau's 2016 mutual option.
Morneau had a $9 million option, but because the Rockies declined the payment, he will be paid a $750,000 buyout.
Morneau has been with the Rockies for each of the past two seasons after signing a two-year, $12.5 million contract with the club during the 2013-2014 offseason.
The 34-year-old hit .310/.363/.458 with three home runs and 15 RBIs over 182 plate appearances this season. He missed most of this season due to a concussion and a neck injury. The 2014 batting champion has been injury prone throughout his career and has not played 150+ games since 2013.
Morneau will become a free agent and could find himself looking for a one-year deal to perhaps rebuild his value. The Marlins, Mariners, and Rays were at the bottom in the Majors in fWAR from first basemen last season, so each of those teams could make some sense for Morneau as a free agent.
Here is the latest news regarding managers and general managers around the league.
The Miami Marlins have hired former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly as their new manager, Molly Knight of VICE Sports reported Thursday morning.
Mattingly has agreed to a four-year contract with the club, Knight reports. She says that it is thought that the Marlins are waiting until after the World Series to make an official announcement because Major League Baseball generally frowns upon major news events occuring during this time.
Mattingly had been the front runner to become the Marlins' manager ever since he mutually parted ways with the Dodgers following their elimination from the NLCS. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria allegedly hand-picked Mattingly, making it only a matter of time before this news broke.
Mattingly will be the Marlins' 10th manager since 2010. Ownership has been known to have a short leash on their managers. For example, they fired manager Mike Redmond after just 38 games this season when the Marlins went 16-22. He had only been the manager for two full seasons.
The 54-year-old Mattingly and Baseball Hall of Famer has been managing the Dodgers since 2011. He is known as a great communicator, shown specifically when handling players and the overall clubhouse. He was able to make a seamless transition from Jimmy Rollins to rookie Corey Seager at starting shortstop, without much, if any, turmoil.
The Dodgers were successful under Mattingly's leadership, going 446-363 during his tenure. However, the club was unable to advance past the NLCS, even though they made the playoffs in each of the past three years.
Mattingly will have some work to do in Miami. The team went 71-91 last season, good for fourth in the NL East. They are considered a team with lots of young talent in Jose Fernandez, Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and others, but have not been able to post a winning season.
As for the rest of the Marlins' coaching staff, it appears that is still up in the air for the 2016 season.
The Washington Nationals are expected to name Bud Black manager, James Wagner of the Washington Post reported.
The 58-year-old Black will be replacing Matt Williams as the leader in the Nationals' clubhouse. Williams was fired earlier this month after the team failed to reach hefty expectations.
Wagner also reports that former Cubs manager Rick Renteria is the "early favorite" to become Black's bench coach next season.
Black had been the Padres' manager from 2007 before being fired mid-season this year. He has been considered to be a great manager considering the amount of talent given to him. He won the 2010 NL Manager of the Year award after the Padres went 90-72 and almost made the postseason.
Overall, Black has a career 649-713 record as manager.
Black had more than just the chance to be a manager this offseason. He's considered a great baseball man. Black was also rumored to possibly enter a team's front office, but ultimately decided to continue his managerial career.
For the Nationals, the 2016 season is an important one for key front office members, including general manager Mike Rizzo. The team went 83-79 this season, in a year where many thought they could be World Series contenders.
Black is just the first piece of the Nationals' coaching puzzle for next year. Following the season, they terminated the contracts of all their coaches, so he will need to create a full staff.
Torii Hunter has hung up the cleats.
"I've been married to the game 23 years," Hunter told LaVelle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I put it almost No. 1 in my life. My family kind of second. I made sacrifices for my family. And now it is time to give them more time."
The 40-year-old Hunter makes his decision following 19 successful big league seasons. He was voted to five All-Star Games, won nine Gold Glove awards, and finished in the MVP voting four times.
Hunter, who established himself as a big league regular back in 1999, was a main cog in the Twins lineup for a good part of the early-2000s. He appeared in 1,227 games for Minnesota from 1999 to 2007. During that stretch, he hit .271/.324/.469 with 192 home runs and 709 runs batted in over 4,875 plate appearances.
He took a seven-year hiatus from the twin-cities, heading to the Angels for five seasons, then the Tigers for two. But Hunter finished his career back where he started it, signing a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Twins this offseason to head back home.
Hunter was the Twins' first round pick (20th overall) in the 1993 MLB Draft. According to Baseball-Reference WAR, Hunter (50.0 bWAR) was the second-most valuable player selected in that round, behind Alex Rodriguez (118.8)
For his career, Hunter finishes as a .277/.331/.461 hitter, hitting 353 home runs and driving in 1,391, while recording 2,452 hits.
I wish Hunter the best in retirement and good luck as he takes the next step in life.