Pitching coach Jim Hickey has agreed to a new three-year deal that will keep him with the Rays through 2018, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.
Hickey, 54, has been with the Rays since 2007 and is considered one of the top pitching coaches in the majors as Tampa Bay has ranked among the league's best in most pitching categories during that span. He would be a hot commodity among other teams if the Rays let him become a free agent.
Hickey was under contract through 2016, but the new contract replaces that deal. Terms were not available.
HUNTER RETIRES: Torii Hunter, one of the most popular Twins ever and a motivational force on all three Major League Baseball teams he played for, is retiring.
Hunter, 40, said he was leaning toward retirement at the end of the regular season, but the outfielder decided to contemplate his future some more during the offseason. After talking with his wife, Katrina, and family members, Hunter decided to close the books on a 19-year career that included five All-Star Games and nine Gold Glove Awards.
"I'm sad because it's all I've known for half of my life," Hunter said.
BIG STEP FOR SERVAIS: Within days of getting the job, new Mariners manager Scott Servais had made phone calls to the Seahawks to learn how they operate. He believes that mimicking that culture will be a significant part of finding success in Seattle and helping the Mariners end the longest playoff drought in baseball.
"Right or wrong, they have a culture. Pete Carroll has done a fantastic job here building it. That's why they're going to sustain success. It's going to happen over and over and over. There is a certain way they do it," Servais said at his introductory news conference. "Players come, they know what the expectations are and they perform right away."
PHILS INTRODUCE GM: Matt Klentak had no trouble dispelling the notion that the Phillies hired solely an "analytics guy" as their general manager. In his first day with his new organization, Klentak stressed balance as crucial to the team's rebuilding process. "Teams that lean too far in one direction, whether it's analytics or scouting or free agency or whatever it may be, those are teams that tend to get in trouble," he said.
MARLINS, MATTINGLY TALK: Former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly met over the weekend with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and was discussing the opening with other top club officials Monday, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.