Cubs hiring Maddon, dismiss Renteria

Two-time AL Manager of the Year to be introduced by club on Monday

Cubs hiring Maddon, dismiss Renteria

CHICAGO -- The Cubs dismissed Rick Renteria on Friday, and they will introduce Joe Maddon on Monday as the 54th manager in franchise history -- and third in four seasons under president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.

About one hour after issuing a release with the news that Renteria had been let go, the Cubs announced a news conference Monday for Maddon, 60, to be held at the Cubby Bear bar near Wrigley Field. The ballpark is unavailable because of the ongoing renovation work.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Epstein's statement on Renteria dismissal

CHICAGO -- Here is the statement issued Friday by Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in announcing the dismissal of manager Rick Renteria:

"Today we made the difficult decision to replace Rick Renteria as manager of the Chicago Cubs. On behalf of Tom Ricketts and Jed Hoyer, I thank Rick for his dedication and commitment, and for making the Cubs a better organization.

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Thousands of fans flock to celebrate Giants' title

Supporters ignore rain, cheer on players, who travel on double-decker buses

Thousands of fans flock to celebrate Giants' title

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the third time in five seasons, the streets of the City by the Bay were sparkling with orange and teeming with love for the World Series-champion Giants, the cheers and screams flowing from McCovey Cove to City Hall and culminating with a celebration before hundreds of thousands of fans Friday. This time, Mother Nature joined the party early, raining tears of joy on the unflinching faithful wearing orange and black for another Halloween baseball bash.

The Giants' World Series victory parade had all the sights and sounds and, yes, even aromas of another great San Francisco-style party, just like in 2010 and '12 -- making even more special the '14 edition of the annual rite reserved exclusively for champions, the right to have the last cheers of the baseball season.

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Marquee names lead list of top 25 free agents

Frontline starters available in Scherzer, Lester; Hanley, V-Mart also set to enter market

Marquee names lead list of top 25 free agents

Hot Stove Tracker

Even as the familiar celebrations continue in San Francisco, it's time to look ahead.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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AFL's top stars on display tonight at 8 ET

Rosters for annual AFL event include 14 prospects from Top 100 rankings

AFL's top stars on display tonight at 8 ET

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Make way for the next generation.

Several of the best prospects in baseball will collide tonight in the ninth annual Fall Stars Game, the yearly All-Star Game for the Arizona Fall League. This year's active rosters feature 13 players on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Royals face tough calls after amazing run

Shields, Butler, Aoki among free agents who may not return in '15

Royals face tough calls after amazing run

• Hot Stove Tracker

KANSAS CITY -- What's the obvious need for the 2015 Royals, fresh from their first World Series experience in 29 years?

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Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Tigers extend qualifying offers to Scherzer, V-Mart

Club loses Dirks, McCoy to waiver claims; Iglesias reinstated from 60-day DL

Tigers extend qualifying offers to Scherzer, V-Mart

• Hot Stove Tracker

DETROIT -- The Tigers announced qualifying offers to free agents Max Scherzer and Victor Martinez among a flurry of moves Friday, including the loss of Andy Dirks off waivers to Toronto and Patrick McCoy off waivers to Baltimore.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Shop makes it easy to dress like a champion

MLB.com Shop makes it easy to dress like a champion

KANSAS CITY -- World Series champions gear is once again available for Giants fans at the MLB.com Shop, and CEO Larry Baer was wearing some in the champagne-soaked clubhouse late Wednesday night and predicting that sales will be "off the charts" for the newest look of success.

"When you walk down the streets in San Francisco, there was all sorts of Giants merchandise even before we got into this postseason," Baer said amid the celebration din. "I had a friend text me from Disneyland a week or two ago, and he said, 'There's more Giants merchandise in Disneyland than all the other teams combined, including the L.A. teams.' So the fans have been unbelievable, and now they have more merchandise to get."

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Matthew Leach

Statcast: Dissecting Gordon's odds of scoring

Data suggests holding the Royals' left fielder at third was the right move

Statcast: Dissecting Gordon's odds of scoring

The beauty -- or the agony, if you're a Royals fan -- is that we'll never know. We'll never know what would have happened if Kansas City third-base coach Mike Jirschele had sent Alex Gordon home with two outs in the ninth inning of Wednesday night's World Series Game 7.

We know what did happen. Salvador Perez popped up against Madison Bumgarner to end the game and the Series, and Gordon was stranded on third. The Giants won, 3-2, dodging the potential disaster that loomed after Gregor Blanco booted Gordon's drive to left-center and left fielder Juan Perez fumbled the ball as he tried to pick it up at the wall.

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Matthew Leach is an editor and reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Orioles decline their mutual option on Markakis

Orioles decline their mutual option on Markakis

After nine seasons, Nick Markakis' time in Baltimore may be coming to an end.

The Orioles announced Friday night that they declined their half of a mutual option on their longest-tenured player for the 2015 season.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Maddon's path to new club mirrors Sparky's

Though difficult, Cubs' pursuit of proven winner may pay huge dividends

Maddon's path to new club mirrors Sparky's

CHICAGO -- Thirty-five years ago, in supposedly gentler times, the Tigers had a first-year manager named Les Moss. He was a loyal organization man who had worked his way up the ranks and been named to replace Ralph Houk as manager. Then-Tigers general manager Jim Campbell felt Moss was a good choice because he had worked with many players on a young team in the Minor Leagues.

But in June of the 1979 season, his first on the job, Moss was dismissed so the Tigers could hire Sparky Anderson. Moss had done nothing wrong, but it turned out that Anderson, who won back-to-back World Series titles with the Reds in '75 and '76, was available. Anderson had turned down multiple job offers the previous winter, telling everyone who asked he was going to take a year off.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Pipeline Inbox: Has Bryant passed Buxton as top prospect?

MLB.com's Jim Callis answers questions about baseball's top youngsters

Pipeline Inbox: Has Bryant passed Buxton as top prospect?

Happy Halloween, everyone! The real treat comes tomorrow, when the Arizona Fall League holds its annual Fall Stars Game. The prospect showcase begins at 5 p.m. MST, and it will be broadcast on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com.

Though Twins center fielder Byron Buxton will miss the Fall Stars Game after dislocating and fracturing his left middle finger, several top prospects will be on hand. Those include Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, D-backs right-hander Archie Bradley, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, Pirates first baseman/outfielder Josh Bell and Reds outfielder Jesse Winker.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Panda to take his time making decision in free agency

While Sandoval would love to return to Giants, he's 'going to go where my heart tells me'

Panda to take his time making decision in free agency

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though Pablo Sandoval professed his love for the Giants, the third baseman's ardor apparently isn't all-encompassing, given his willingness to consider other free-agency options.

"I'm going to go where my heart tells me," Sandoval said Friday after the Giants celebrated their third World Series title in five seasons with a confetti-showered parade through downtown San Francisco.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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AFL players practice in costume

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AFL players practice in costume

There's October baseball -- you know, the kind that features Madison Bumgarner pitching five shutout innings in Game 7 of the World Series -- and then there's the end of October baseball where ballplayers suit up in costumes to have some fun and save time before trick-or-treating after practice.

On Friday, Arizona Fall League players at Salt River Field revealed just how good Superman would look with high socks instead of underwear on the outside of his costume: 

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Yankees prep for busy Hot Stove season

Yankees prep for busy Hot Stove season

• Hot Stove Tracker

NEW YORK -- When the final out of the World Series nestled safely in Pablo Sandoval's glove, it officially kicked off the beginning of baseball's Hot Stove season. In the Bronx, the Yankees had been huddling for weeks, preparing for that green light.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Relive the Giants' World Series parade GIF by GIF

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Relive the Giants' World Series parade GIF by GIF

Even though it literally rained on their parade, the Giants and their fans swarmed San Francisco on Friday to celebrate their third World Series win in five years. And when we say swarmed, we mean "like poking an anthill where all the ants are wearing orange and black." 

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Stories from MLB's most haunted hotels

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Stories from MLB's most haunted hotels

While being a professional baseball player is pretty sweet, there is one drawback: lots of travel. And the worst parts of all those trips are, obviously, the haunted hotels. 

For example: Mickey Bradley and Dan Gordon reported in their book, Haunted Baseball, Travis Hafner's bed shook while staying at the Partridge Inn as a member of the Savannah Sand Gnats. Carlos Pena has said he always had a "tough time" sleeping at Shoney's Inn in Bozier City, Louisiana. 

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Cubs players react to managerial change

Baker, Villanueva praise job Renteria did, while catcher expresses excitement for Maddon

Cubs players react to managerial change

CHICAGO -- Catcher John Baker played in San Diego when Rick Renteria was on the coaching staff, and the two were reunited in Chicago this past season. Baker, well aware of the business side of the game, was saddened at the news that Renteria was dismissed Friday as Cubs manager.

"Obviously, when you play for somebody, and I've known Ricky for a few years, so it's sad to see that side of it in baseball, but I think everybody going into every new season knows this is a business," Baker said Friday. "Sometimes business decisions are tough on people who are personable. It was fun to play for Ricky. I enjoyed having him as a manager and a coach. I look forward to seeing what happens next season."

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Tigers pick up Soria's '15 option

Veteran righty likely to handle eighth-inning role

Tigers pick up Soria's '15 option

• Hot Stove Tracker

DETROIT -- The Tigers have a lot of sorting out to do with their bullpen. The simplest part, Joakim Soria's contract option for 2015, is now out of the way. The team decided to pick up Soria's $7 million option, thus keeping Soria off the free-agent market and in its bullpen mix.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Giants' latest title offers questions, answers

Bochy polishes Hall-worthy resume; Romo makes case to return

Giants' latest title offers questions, answers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Should a Fortune 500 company hire Brian Sabean as chief operating officer? Is Sergio Romo really gone? Is Brandon Crawford better than everybody realizes? How will Bruce Bochy look in bronze? What we learned about the Giants -- these issues and others -- during their circuitous yet fascinating route to their third World Series title in five seasons are addressed here.

MADBUM: THE BEST?
Watching Madison Bumgarner top off his record-setting postseason with five shutout innings of relief in Sunday's Game 7 prompted general manager Brian Sabean to say, "Now he's arguably, because of this, the best pitcher in baseball."

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rex Ryan jokingly names Bumgarner Jets starting QB

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Rex Ryan jokingly names Bumgarner Jets starting QB

Jets head coach Rex Ryan seems to understand that rooting for the Jets makes for a tough existence. The J-E-T-S JETS, JETS, JETS only recently rid themselves of the buttfumble nightmare, opting to use Geno Smith as their starting quarterback. A year and a half into that experiment and Ryan has decided it's time for someone else to start under center.

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Buxton expected back for Spring Training after surgery

MLB's top prospect underwent procedure to repair broken finger

Buxton expected back for Spring Training after surgery

MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton underwent surgery Thursday to repair a broken middle finger on his left hand, but he is expected to be ready for Spring Training, Twins director of Minor League operations Brad Steil said Friday.

Buxton, ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com, sustained the injury on Monday while trying to make a diving catch in the Arizona Fall League. It was originally believed that Buxton only had a dislocated finger, but after visiting a hand specialist, it was determined he fractured his finger and needed surgery.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Yost has minor skin cancer surgery on nose

Royals manager calls procedure 'absolutely nothing to worry about'

Yost has minor skin cancer surgery on nose

KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost delayed his return home to Georgia to undergo a skin cancer procedure on his nose on Friday in Kansas City.

Yost said the surgery was minor for basal cell carcinoma.

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Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Gallardo's option picked up; Weeks' declined

Brewers exercise their half of Ramirez's mutual option

Gallardo's option picked up; Weeks' declined

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers acted on all three of their players with contract options and picked up a new player from the waiver wire during a busy end to the work week Friday. 

As expected, the Brewers committed to starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo for another season by exercising his $13 million club option for 2015, and also exercised the team's half of third baseman Aramis Ramirez's $14 million mutual option. Ramirez has three days to accept or decline. 

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Red Sox positioned for active Hot Stove season

Cherington has motivation, resources to obtain pieces for 2015 turnaround

Red Sox positioned for active Hot Stove season

• Hot Stove Tracker

The conclusion of the World Series means the beginning of what will be a busy Hot Stove season for Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. A second last-place American League East finish in three seasons didn't sit well within anyone in the offices of 4 Yawkey Way, and Cherington will try to spearhead a turnaround.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Giants' foundation rock solid with architect Sabean

Longest-tenured GM follows proven strategy

Giants' foundation rock solid with architect Sabean

Shortly after Brian Sabean became general manager of the Giants, he orchestrated a trade that was arguably one of the most unpopular in franchise history. He sent third-base fan favorite Matt Williams to the Cleveland Indians in a deal that brought back at the time little-known second baseman Jeff Kent, infielder Jose Vizcaino and reliever Julian Tavarez.

The outrage among the folks in the Bay Area, including the media, was so strong that Sabean finally called a news conference to explain, "I'm not an idiot.''

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Maddux, Magadan will return to Rangers' staff

Ortiz set to serve as first-base coach for new manager Banister

Maddux, Magadan will return to Rangers' staff

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers officially announced that pitching coach Mike Maddux has agreed to a new contract and hitting coach Dave Magadan is returning for the final season of his three-year deal.

"It was apparent pretty quickly with both men that we believe in a lot of the same things," manager Jeff Banister said. "They are the kind of guys that I can grow with and they can grow with me in an effort to strengthen the Texas Rangers ballclub into a championship-caliber ballclub."

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies have tough choice to make with Cuddyer

Club would hate to lose impact bat, but does it have position for free-agent slugger?

Rockies have tough choice to make with Cuddyer

DENVER -- The start of free agency leaves the Rockies with a decision regarding offensively productive first baseman/outfielder Michael Cuddyer.

As free agency began with the conclusion of the World Series this week, Cuddyer certainly didn't have a prediction to his future, which almost certainly will involve a nice payday. Free agents may sign with other clubs starting Monday at 10:01 p.m. MT.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Blue Jays claim Dirks, sign Francis to Minor League deal

Blue Jays claim Dirks, sign Francis to Minor League deal

The Blue Jays brought in a couple of experienced players on Friday, claiming outfielder Andy Dirks off waivers from Detroit and signing left-hander Jeff Francis to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

Dirks, 28, has spent his entire career with the Tigers after being selected in the eighth round of the 2008 Draft. He spent much of the 2011-13 seasons in the Majors, batting .276 with 24 home runs and 100 RBIs in 297 games.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Brewers set to bring back Montgomery to scouting role

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are planning an announcement Monday regarding reports that they have rehired former front-office official Ray Montgomery to lead Milwaukee's amateur scouting department, general manager Doug Melvin said late Friday. 

The Arizona Republic reported that Montgomery, 45, will be named special assistant to the GM and vice president of scouting for the Brewers. He would replace the late Bruce Seid, who passed away at 53 unexpectedly in September. Montgomery worked closely with Seid during an eight-year Brewers tenure that included time as an area scout, supervisor and assistant scouting director. 

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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