The swift movement of Diamondbacks’ management has been expected for some time now; it was widely believed a regime change would be put in place following a dismal 2016 season.
Despite the firings of both Stewart and Hale, Diamondbacks’ Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa may still have a job in 2017, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and other media reports. Arizona is reportedly undecided as to whether La Russa will be a part of the team’s future plans.
The Diamondbacks promised a competitive 2016 season after the front office signed ace starting pitcher Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million deal and traded for Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves, among other moves. However, the team did not live up to hefty expectations, finishing 69-93, ranking fourth in the NL West.
The Shelby Miller trade, in particular, is shaping up to be one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory. The Diamondbacks’ traded former No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, along with other valuable pieces, in order to get Miller, who stumbled to a 6.15 ERA in 101 innings at the big league level (Miller was actually demoted to Triple-A during the season).
There has been no word on possible replacements for Stewart and Hale, though Ray Montgomery and Phil Nevin could be fits, as Robert Murray of FanRag says.
The Braves are among the many teams looking for a new manager, and they will be interviewing Ron Washington and Bud Black this week, as Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox continued the trend of a new regime on Monday, though theirs was less drastic than Arizona’s. The team replaced Manager Robin Ventura, whose contract expired at the end of this season, with Rick Renteria, who last served as manager of the crosstown rival Cubs in 2014 before being removed in favor of Joe Maddon. The White Sox preferred Renteria because he had some experience with some of their roster, perhaps implying they will be attempting another run at contention in 2017.
The Rockies announced on Monday that Manager Walt Weiss has stepped down from his position, as, like Ventura’s, his contract expired. Weiss mentioned a tough relationship with General Manager Jeff Bridich as one of his reasons for not returning for another season. Bridich’s contract expires at the end of the 2017 season, perhaps leading to the hiring of an in-house candidate for the job.
The Marlins will not be retaining Barry Bonds as their hitting coach in 2017, as Heyman reports. In what was an intriguing hire last offseason, Bonds reportedly struggled to grow on the players.
The Twins confirmed what everybody already knew: they have hired Cleveland Indians’ Assistant General Manager Derek Falvey to be their Chief Baseball Officer. This has been rumored for weeks. Indians’ Manager Terry Francona called Falvey a “rising star” in the business.