Sunday, November 3, 2013

MLB Hot Stove Simmers on Quiet Saturday

After a flurry of transactions leading into the weekend, Saturday was rather quiet for MLB teams. Here's a quick roundup of Saturday's moves and other happenings in the game.

Rays exercise options on Zobrist, Escobar

The Tampa Bay Rays exercised their club options on second baseman Ben Zobrist and shortstop Yunel Escobar Saturday. Zobrist will receive $7.25 million in 2014 while Escobar will net $5 million. This is a formidable up-the-middle combination supplying quality bats with above-average fielding for Rays manager Joe Maddon. Each contract represents a bargain for the Rays making the decision very easy for the club.

Giants decline Zito, Torres options

The San Francisco Giants declined options on Barry Zito and Andres Torres. Zito spent seven years with the club, winning two World Series along the way. Zito's contract was widely considered a bust. He will receive a $7 million buyout instead of the $18 million option. Torres' option was for $3 million, but will instead take home a $500K buyout.

Ausmus to be named next Tiger’s manager

Brad Ausmus, a former MLB catcher, is reportedly going to be named the next Detroit Tigers manager. Ausmus, who played 18 seasons including 2-plus with the Tigers split in two separate occasions, spent a majority of his career behind the plate for the Houston Astros, has never managed in the big leagues before. He was most recently a special assistant in the San Diego Padres organization. He did manage Team Israel in the 2012 qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic.

Ausmus has been described as having a good baseball mind and someone who connects with his players (something said about virtually every former catcher ready to take his first managerial position). He’s getting into a great situation in Detroit where they have an established and successful front office and a very talented veteran roster. Predicting success for Ausmus in Detroit is fairly safe, but there will still be a learning curve for the day-to-day requirements of managing a ballclub.

AFL Fall Stars Game

The West beat the East in the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game 9-2 behind five home runs. Texas Rangers prospect Brett Nicholas and Seattle Mariners youngster Stefen Romero ripped two homers apiece for the West. Minnesota Twins prospect, Alex Meyer tossed three scoreless innings for the victory. The West held the East scoreless until the seventh inning. Mason Williams, a New York Yankees prospect, was the only East player with two hits, going 2-for-2 with an RBI.

Red Sox hold World Series Parade

The Boston Red Sox celebrated their third World Series Championship since 2004 with their fans in a parade using 25 duck boats through Boston Saturday. The parade made a somber pause at the finish line of the Boston Marathon to give respect to those who died and were injured in the tragic bombings during April’s race. The Red Sox players and management addressed the crowd inside Fenway at the conclusion of the parade.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo. Besides his work here, Chris is a New York Yankees contributor for Yahoo Sports. Connect with Chris on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.