Ivan Rodriguez has been hired by the Rangers as a special assistant to the general manager, the team announced today. "Pudge" spent 13 of his 20 Major League seasons as a Ranger and will now serve the organization as a scout, organizational instructor and ambassador. Here are some more items from around the AL West…
- Scott Downs wants to remain with the Angels and the southpaw tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he would be willing to negotiate an extension during the season. Downs' representatives at CAA have told the Angels' front office about their client's wishes but have yet to get a response. Downs turns 37 in March and has pitched very well in Anaheim, posting a 2.17 ERA over 99 1/3 innings in his first two years of his three-year, $15MM contract. He turns 37 in March, however, and Gonzalez speculates that the Angels may let Downs go since Sean Burnett and Nick Maronde are in the fold as left-handed bullpen options.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels spoke with Dallas Morning News readers about the team's offseason moves, international signings, the current Texas roster and more in a live chat today.
- The Athletics have received tentative guidelines from the Commissioner's Office regarding a possible move to San Jose, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. This isn't necessarily a sign that the A's will be allowed to move, Shaikin notes, though if the team can comply with these guidelines, it could prompt Bud Selig to put the matter of the proposed move to a vote of the other league owners. MLB has been studying the Athletics' proposed San Jose relocation for four years, and the Giants are known to oppose the move on the grounds that it infringes on their territorial rights.
- Rick Ankiel will make $750K if he makes the Astros' Opening Day roster, plus a few small bonuses based on plate appearances, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports. Houston signed the veteran outfielder to a minor league contract in January.