R. Star wrote:
Always figured Ausmus would become a manager one day. He handled the Astros pitching staff quite well for a long time. I am sorta surprised the Tigers just signed him with no previous experience. Usually former players have to do their time in the minors again before they're considered.
It's a very, very strange hire. I mean, Ausmus was widely pegged as a future manager when playing, but he repeatedly refused major league coaching or minor league managerial jobs and wouldn't even talk
MLB manager jobs unless it was a perfect situation. His only bench experience at all was with Team Israel in the WBC qualifiers last year, and he's spent the last four years with a part-time special assistant role in San Diego that appeared to be the usual sinecure that job title represents.
The history of former players dropped directly into managerial jobs is terrible, because they usually don't have the basic decisions down pat and rely too much on gut instincts from their playing days. I mean, maybe
Ausmus breaks the trend, but if you really watched Mike Matheny's game management decisions in the playoffs and said, "Boy, I gotta get me some of that," then you deserve exactly what you're getting from Brad Ausmus.
As for Santana, maybe someone takes a flyer on him. I can't see him being a mop up middle reliever that comes in a blowout once a week, or someone who hangs out in the minors half the year and makes a spot start or two, or gets called up in July or August to be a sacrificial arm as some hot prospect approaches his innings limit. Best case is as the 5th starter somewhere?
I'm not even sure someone will take a one-year gamble on him at this point. I mean, Santana's arm is completely cooked (one shoulder capsule tear is hard enough to come back from -- two essentially means you're done) and even in 2012, when he was supposedly healthy (before his arm fell off), he was getting hit pretty hard. As I said, I'm sure someone will give him a NRI in February, but you're better off lighting money on fire than giving guaranteed cash to Santana at this point.
It'll be interesting to see what happens. Perfect situation for Ausmus, I suppose, but there's usually a reason players will spend a few years in the minors. It's a transition with learning pains and Detroit's supposed to be contending. I wonder if Leyland can be lured somewhere else or if he really means he's retiring.
As for Santana... I dunno, I can see teams willing to give him a small contract not much over league minimum with some incentives based on appearances. It'd be a low risk investment if Santana's willing to go for it and not hold out for more. But he's really gonna have to show he can stay healthy for a season before it'd be a good idea to throw any money at him. Basically the poster child why it's nuts to give pitchers those huge long term contracts.