Nomar Garciaparra headed for retirement?

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garciaparra.JPG36-year-old free agent Nomar
Garciaparra is “widely expected” to retire, according to Susan Slusser of
the San Francisco Chronicle
.

Garciaparra posted a disappointing .281/.314/.388 batting line with three home runs and 16 RBI in 160 at-bats as a backup corner infielder for the A’s last season.  He’s a major injury risk and is no longer a reliable defensive infielder, even at first base.  Par for the course, he has not been linked to any teams this offseason.

Nomar spent 13 seasons in the big leagues, starting in Boston and making stops with Chicago (Cubs), Los Angeles (Dodgers) and finally Oakland.  If he is indeed retiring, the California native will finish with a stellar .313/.361/.521 career batting line, 229 career home runs and 1,747 career hits.  Garciaparra won the Rookie of the Year in 1997 and was voted to six All-Star games.

He’s widely regarded as one of the classiest guys in the business and he no doubt has a stack of after-baseball opportunities available to him.  But Nomar might prefer to spend the next chapter of his life driving his overly athletic kids to baseball, basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, and maybe even slamball practice.  Don’t let John Calipari near those children.  He’d have them in Kentucky gear by age 10.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.