Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy is sneaky:
Fifth starter Jason Hammel will pitch in
the team’s Cactus League opener Thursday, facing the Diamondbacks.
Opening-day starter Ubaldo Jimenez will make his first start Friday
against the Angels rather than pitch against the Giants that same day.
“That is by design,” Tracy said, not wanting to give San Francisco any unnecessary looks at his ace.
Given that (a) in his career, Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched more innings against the Giants than any other team; and (b) the Giants probably spring for the Extra Innings package, I’m guessing they’ll survive without seeing him pitch some meaningless early March game in Tucson.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.