Dan's Dugout: Free Agent Season Starts Early • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Free Agent Season Starts Early

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Officially, the free agent frenzy won’t start until five days after the World Series. That’s when veterans whose contracts have expired can declare themselves available to the highest bidder.

Long-time Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski will find a new job soon

Long-time Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski will find a new job soon

One of those bidders will be Dave Dombrowski, just relieved of his duties as president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers.

He won’t stay free very long.

In fact, he’ll be bidding on the next class of free agency for one of several clubs eager to sign him.

At least a half-dozen teams are hot to trot for Dombrowski, whose Tigers won four division titles (2011-14) and two pennants in 14 years before he ran out of gas in the Motor City.

Here are his half-dozen possible landing spots:

  • Boston — With the Red Sox headed for another last-place finish and Larry Lucchino already on the street, Dombrowski’s stellar deputation for deal-making would make him an ideal new hire in The Hub
  • Toronto — Dombrowski would make a fine successor to Paul Beeston, former Blue Jays president, but the team has a hot young general manager in Alex Anthopoulos, fresh from multiple killings at the trade deadline
  • Chicago — Should Kenny Williams take the Toronto job, Dombrowski could run to the White Sox, where he worked before
  • San Diego — A.J. Preller won all the headlines but lost on the field after a flurry of wheeling and dealing that stretched into Opening Day and the Craig Kimbrel trade
  • Atlanta — John Hart took the Braves job reluctantly last fall, traded away the heart of the team, and now has to answer to ownership for a $14 million revenue shortfall
  • Philadelphia — Andy MacPhail will be the head honcho but Dombrowski would be a wise choice if Ruben Amaro bites the bullet this winter

The 59-year-old Dombrowski, who also worked for the Montreal Expos and Miami Marlins (when they

Dombrowski: no idea why he was released

Dombrowski: no idea why he was released

were still known for the state instead of the city), would have also made a fine Commissioner of Baseball. In fact, he’s young enough to be considered for the future if Rob Manfred doesn’t like the job — or if the owners decide they don’t like him.

In any event, Dombrowski won’t be out of work long. In fact, the betting here is that he’ll spent the dog days of August fielding phone calls and interview requests rather than relaxing on a beach (although that thought should intrigue anyone who has just spent more than a dozen summers in Detroit).

Elsewhere in baseball:

Touted Seattle rookie Taijuan Walker pitched a one-hitter for the first complete game of his career . . .

Mark Melancon is racking up the saves for Pittsburgh

Mark Melancon is racking up the saves for Pittsburgh

Who could have guessed that Pirates closer Mark Melancon would be the first man with 35 saves this season? . . .

Colorado may have the best batting average in the National League but the Dodgers have the most home runs . . .

Speaking of home runs, Pittsburgh pitcher Francisco Liriano hit the first one of his 10-year career . . .

And Dodgers ace Zack Grienke hit one in the same week . . .

Wonder what Washington starter Stephen Strasburg, already disabled twice this season, would do if he stayed healthy . . .

Shades of Merkle’s Boner: as the Diamondbacks celebrated what appeared to be a walkoff win in Phoenix, the Reds called for the ball, tagged all the bases, and asked the umpires to void a 10th-inning run and declare the game tied . . .

What is Carlos Gonzalez eating these days? The red-hot Rockies outfielder had 15 homers and a .394 average over a 27-game stretch . . .

MVP candidate Carlos Gonzalez wields a hot bat

MVP candidate Carlos Gonzalez wields a hot bat

Good-field, no-hit Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. had the game of his life in Detroit with five RBI, thanks in part to a home run, triple, and bases-loaded walk . . .

Cleveland’s Corey Kluber has no chance to defend his Cy Young Award but Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, who won it in 2010, has a good chance to win his second . . .

The Yankees are playing Whack-a-Mole with their injury-riddled rotation, from Masahiro Tanaka (wrist tendinitis) to Michael Pineda (right forearm strain) . . .

Veteran lefty Chris Capuano, a bust as a reliever with the Yankees, might make someone a good starter for 2016 . . .

Although the Mets would like to sign Yoenis Cespedes this fall, they have Michael Conforto coming up and $31 million committed to veteran outfielders Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, and Michael Cuddyer . . .

Mets manager Terry Collins took a quick side-trip to Florida to watch rehabbing third baseman David Wright work out in Port St. Lucie . . .

Baltimore manager Buck Showalter, never one to stick to script, won a game in Oakland by using All-Star closer Zach Britton for two-and-a-third innings . . .

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman believes the club’s future is brightening because of a half-dozen prospects: outfielder Aaron Judge, shortstop Jorge Mateo, second baseman Rob Refsnyder, catcher Gary Sanchez, and pitchers Luis Severino and Bryan Mitchell . . .

David Ortiz passed Andre Dawson in career RBI Image Credit: Bill Menzel

David Ortiz passed Andre Dawson in career RBI
Image Credit: Bill Menzel

Red Sox DH David Ortiz has passed Hall of Famer Andre Dawson for 37th place on the career RBI list . . .

Texas should get a big boost now that erstwhile ace Martin Perez is back from Tommy John surgery . . .

Seattle may have struck gold with hot-shot rookie Ketel Marte, who had three hits and a walk in his third major-league game . . .

Another rookie with a high upside is Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris, acquired in the deal that sent David Price to Toronto . . .

Blue Jays pitchers won nine of their first ten decisions after the All-Star Game . . .

Just because new Tigers GM Al Avila is the father of Tigers catcher Alex Avila doesn’t mean he can’t be traded; Al Campanis once traded his son Jim, also a catcher, while serving as general manager of the Dodgers . . .

Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre reinforced his Cooperstown credentials by hitting for the cycle for the third time  (once with Seattle, twice with Texas) but always in the hitter-friendly Rangers ballpark  . . .

Adrian Beltre loves to cycle Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Adrian Beltre loves to cycle
Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Just days after succeeding Mike Napoli (back in Texas) as Boston first baseman, Travis Shaw hit his first two homers and went 4-for-4 . . .

The penny-pinching Miami Marlins saved $8.7 million by unloading Mat Latos, Michael Morse, and Steve Cishek before the July 31 trading deadline.

 

 

 

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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