Word out of Dallas this evening is that hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo has turned down a one-year offer to return to the Texas Rangers. He's under contract until Oct. 31, and it's believed the Cubs have some interest in hiring Jaramillo to fill their vacancy at hitting coach. GM Jim Hendry fired Gerald Perry in June and replaced him with Von Joshua, who was informed on the last day of the season that he would not be asked back in that capacity but that he could return to the minor leagues with the Cubs.
Jaramillo, who enjoyed a good working relationship with, of all people, Milton Bradley, was with the Rangers since 1995.
"It goes without saying that Rudy has given 15 years of outstanding sevice," Rangers GM Jon Daniels told the local media. "He definitely wil be missed. We wish him the best wherever he lands."
Jaramillo had this to say to reporters: "The Rangers did what they felt they had to do in offering me a one-year deal. That's understandable with the sale of the club and the situation the club is in. I just felt that I wanted some security, and the way to get security is to go out and find out where you stand on the market."
Here are some of the key stats for the Rangers this year:
Runs: 7th in the American league at 784
OBP: .320 (12th)
Walks: 472 (12th)
Strikeouts by batters: 1,253, most in the AL
Slugging: .445 (3rd)
OPS: .764 (7th)
Home runs: 224 (second to the Yankees)
Team president Nolan Ryan was quoted by local reporters as expressing dismay in the walks and strikeouts: "We were all disappointed in the number of strikeouts and the lack of walks," Ryan said.
The Cubs went from atop the NL in several key offensive categories in 2008 to middle of the pack in 2009.
Even though Jaramillo worked well with Bradley, Cubs GM Jim Hendry is working furiously to trade Bradley, whom Hendry suspended for the final two weeks of the season for bad behavior, so a reconciliation still seems all but impossible.
The end of this month should be a busy time for the Cubs, who could have both a new owner and a new hitting coach within a few days either side of Halloween.