The New York Mets are set to hire Twins assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner to be their pitching coach under new manager Carlos Beltran.
Phil Regan, 82, was the Mets pitching coach at the end of last season on an interim basis after Dave Eiland was fired in June.
Hefner, 33, pitched for the Mets from 2012-13.
“[Hefner] brings extra credibility because he’s played in this decade,” Twins special assistant LaTroy Hawkins told the New York Post. “He still relates to the players very well and his communication skills are off the charts. He gets all the analytical stuff, but understands there is a human element to it that needs to be addressed as well with the players.”
The Mets have a strong rotation with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Marcus Stroman; deGrom won the past two National League Cy Young Awards.
Hefner was claimed by the Mets off waivers in 2012 after spending five years in the Padres organization. His career ended in 2016 after two Tommy John surgeries.
Former Twin Chili Davis is the Mets hitting coach. The Mets will wait until Beltran’s staff is finalized before making the official announcement of Hefner’s hiring, mlb.com reported.
Twins bench coach Derek Shelton and Tampa Bay bench coach Matt Quatraro are the two finalists for the Pirates managing job. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported a decision is likely by the end of the week.
Both finalists are former hitting coaches for the Rays. Shelton has been the Twins bench coach for the past two seasons.
Free agent Hardy signs
The Twins signed free agent lefthanded reliever Blaine Hardy to a minor league deal.
Hardy gets a spring training invitation, as do righthanded pitcher Ryan Garton and catcher Juan Graterol, former major leaguers who also signed minor league deals.
The 32-year-old Hardy made $1.3 million in 2019, but had elbow problems and was sent to Class AAA Toledo in August before going on the 60-day injured list. He pitched in 233 games over the past six seasons for the Tigers. Last season, his ERA ballooned to 4.47 but he had a career-best 1.15 WHIP.
Garton, 29, pitched in two games for Seattle last season, and had a 3.99 ERA in 65.1 innings with Class AAA Tacoma. He’s also pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays before going to Seattle; in 59 major league games he has one save and a 4.90 ERA in 64.1 innings.
The 30-year-old Graterol played in six games for the Reds last season after playing in three games for the Twins at the end of 2018. In 58 games last season at Class AAA Louisville he hit .249 with two home runs. A native of Venezuela, he was the starting catcher in Joe Mauer’s final game with the Twins.
Major League Baseball is investigating a claim of domestic violence against former Twins pitcher Sam Dyson, according to published reports.
The Twins traded for Dyson, 31, at the deadline in July. He pitched in 12 games before shoulder surgery ended his season; he was designated for assignment and is now a free agent.
Dyson’s former girlfriend alluded to domestic violence in an Instagram posting without naming Dyson.