The Padres have interviewed Ron Gardenhire a second time for their open managerial position, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported on Sunday. Gardenhire is the only one of the group of candidates the Padres are considering with prior managing experience. The other candidates are Alex Cora, Phil Nevin, Rick Sofield, Tom Gordon, and Andy Green.
Gardenhire was the longtime manager of the Twins, leading the team to six post-season appearances and a 1,068-1,039 record from 2002-14. He was let go after the 2014 season, when the Twins finished in last place for the third time in the previous four seasons. The Twins selected Paul Molitor and the Twins improved to an 83-79 record this past season.
The Padres were one of baseball’s bigger disappointments, considering the amount of star power they added in Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Matt Kemp, James Shields, and Craig Kimbrel, among others. They were only able to win 74 games, finishing fourth in the NL West. Manager Bud Black was fired after 65 games with a sub-.500 record. Interim manager Pat Murphy went 42-54 the rest of the way.
Black is reportedly one of the finalists for the Nationals’ managing job along with Dusty Baker.
Back to Toronto
Navarro, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, will go “wherever God takes me.” The catcher hit .246/.307/.374 with five home runs and 20 RBI in 192 plate appearances. If he were to return, he would continue backing up Russell Martin behind the plate. Navarro had been on a two-year, $8 million deal signed in December 2013.
Price said he would “absolutely” consider returning to the Jays, per Nicholson-Smith. Though the lefty’s post-season struggles continued, he pitched quite well during the regular season, finishing with a composite 2.45 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 225/47 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him at the end of July in a trade with the Tigers.
Price turned 30 in August and will likely draw a six- or seven-year deal potentially worth in excess of $200 million. However, the free agent market has many more pitching options than last year (when Max Scherzer inked a $210 million contract), which might deflate Price’s price.
Beltre Has Thumb Surgery
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre had surgery on his left thumb on Friday, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Beltre is expected to be ready for spring training.
Beltre played the entire second half with a torn ligament in his left thumb. Somehow, the 36-year-old was able to put up better numbers. His OPS by month went: .604, .768, .508, and .738 through July, then posted an .874 OPS in August and .957 in September and October.
The Rangers exercised Beltre’s option for the 2016 season this past February. The two sides agreed to reduce his 2015 salary to $16 million and increase his 2016 salary to $18 million. After the 2016 season, Beltre will be eligible for free agency.
Quick Hits: The Mets have tabbed Matt Harvey to start Game 1 of the World Series against the Royals. Jacob deGrom will start Game 2, followed by Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz … The Royals have not yet announced their starting rotation for the World Series … Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez will likely open the 2016 season as a starter … Catcher David Ross said he is returning to the Cubs for the 2016 season … Former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. is reportedly a finalist to become the first base coach of the Red Sox … The Phillies are expected to name Matt Klentak as their new GM … Marlins GM Dan Jennings will discuss his role with the team with owner Jeffrey Loria ... Managerial candidates Bud Black and Dusty Baker are expected to interview for a second time with the Nationals on Monday.