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November 15, 2020

MLB rumors: Phillies closing in on pitching coach as free agency rolls on

For the second day in a row, we're straying a bit from the norm here. 

On Saturday, we wrote about Jayson Stark's report regarding the Phillies continued quest for a front-office makeover rather than the free agency rumors we'd been covering for the last two weeks — although that report did include a little nugget about the team's offseason plans, a nugget that probably angered much of the fanbase.

Well, we're going to stick with the off-the-field rumors for another day, but this one will actually get a little closer to reaching the diamond. 

According to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, a "clear frontrunner" has emerged to take over as the Phillies pitching coach after Bryan Price stepped down at the end of the season. Here's more from Salisbury...

Cincinnati Reds assistant pitching coach Caleb Cotham has emerged as the clear frontrunner, according to multiple baseball sources.

Cotham, 33, has been with the Reds for two seasons. He started off as their assistant pitching coach in 2019 and was elevated to assistant pitching coach and director of pitching entering the 2020 season.

Cotham has a chemistry with Phillies manager Joe Girardi. He pitched in the majors, breaking in with Girardi's 2015 Yankees. He appeared in 35 games over two seasons with the Yankees and Reds.  []

Salisbury also reports that Cotham, who has a history of working with data-driven models and new technologies was one of several candidates the team has interviewed, including former pitching coach Rich Dubee, who was with the team when they won the World Series in 2008.

The team also is in need of a bullpen coach, which is the biggest area where they need improvement from the 2019 season. They'll also have to bring in some new players if they hope to turn things around — and, of course, hiring a GM and new president of baseball operations would be a good start as well. 

So, where will the Phillies — who are currently +3500 to win the World Series at FanDuel, according to — look to improve their roster? We'll have all the latest right here in our live free agency tracker. 

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