Links in Spanish from both sides of the Atlantic …
- At a time when some Spanish-speaking players are feeling threatened by the political climate stateside, Vladimir Guerrero told Impacto Deportivo's Franklin Mirabal that the international makeup of the Rangers' roster contributed to his intradivisional move. "In Anaheim they treated me well, but in Texas I've found a lot of friendships, a lot of Latin players, and that makes me happy here. Right now, I don't think about retiring," he said. Guerrero is off to a strong start after managing only 407 PAs last season, his fewest since 1997.
- Resurgent 35-year-old Livan Hernandez predicts to El Nuevo Herald's Luis Rangel that a rigorous offseason racquetball regimen could extend his career another five seasons and allow him to achieve his ultimate goal of breaking Luis Tiant's mark for most wins by a Cuban pitcher (he's 70 back at the moment). A little further in the future, Livan says he is seriously considering an attempt at cracking the PGA Senior Tour. He adds that he personally called the Marlins this offseason to offer his services, saying he "always wanted to return" to the site of his World Series MVP triumph, but he received no response from the team.
- Small world: Marco Scutaro tells Lider en Deportes' Octavio Hernandez Pernia that he was in the gym with fellow free agent shortstop (and Caracas Lions teammate in the Venezuelan League) Alex Gonzalez at the precise moment when Gonzalez received a call from the Blue Jays expressing their desire to sign him as a replacement for Scutaro. "I think that was when I knew I was out of there," Scutaro says. Nevertheless, Gonzalez adds that Scutaro's praise for the city of Toronto and manager Cito Gaston helped steer him toward accepting the Blue Jays' one-year, $3MM offer.
- Braves minor league affiliates are looking downright NBA-esque after the team signed a fifth European player from their team academy in the Spanish Canary Islands. The latest addition is catcher Victor Velazquez, who will join outfielder Deion Galvan, catcher Roberto Machado, infielder Alejandro Sanchez Martinez, and Dutch outfielder Ruben Rijkhof in the Braves system.
- The Yankees signed 19-year-old Dominican RHP Erik Olivo for $300K out of the Dominican Prospect League, according to the league's Web site. The DPL also announced last week that it would once again resume play on Thursday after having been banned from Major League-affiliated facilities for the time being over a feud with the MLB Dominican office and its overseer Sandy Alderson.