Friday, October 12, 2007
After two seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, they have fired the most celebrated pitching coach in modern baseball. Mazzone is known for developing some of the best pitchers in the game including Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine. He joined the Orioles to be with longtime friend Sam Perlozzo, but when he was fired in June, his dismissal appeared imminent. Although we saw great strides from Erik Bedard, Adam Loewen, and Jeremy Guthrie, we also saw collapses from some of the other pitchers on the staff. There are several managers looking for coaching staffs so Mazzone will probably find a job. The Orioles considered Mazzone their best free agent pick up back in 2006, but they obviously were not impressed with his performance. The Reds, Pirates, Royals, Mariners, Cardinals, Marlins, and maybe the Yankees will all be looking for a pitching coach, so he will be picked up quick. I expect the Pirates and Reds to be very interested in them because both have weak, young pitching. If Wayne Krivsky sees the team as I do, he would be smart to pick up Mazzone so he can mold pitchers Homer Bailey, Richie Gardner, and Tyler Pelland, all solid prospects in the Reds system. I'll say it again, the Reds have great offense but lack good pitching which would make them a contender. You could also see the Pirates go after him because Neal Huntington is big on player development, and if sees raw talent in a pitcher, Mazzone might be able to find something to improve his game, like he did with Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine. "Baltimore will still be responsible for Mazzone's full salary, which is reportedly worth $500,000, but will pay less if he takes another job.". A sleeper this off season to add Mazzone is the Nationals, whose owner, Stan Kasten, is connected to the Braves when Mazzone was there. But Randy St. Claire is there and no one seems to be complaining with him right now so we will see.
UPDATE: Calls were put in to Reds General Manager Wayne Krivsy and Mariners General Manager Bill Bavasi regarding the issue, but were not returned.
UPDATE 1: It has been confirmed by the Newark Star Ledger the Yankees have interest in Leo Mazzone.