Jon Rauch signs with the Blue Jays

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Toronto has signed reliever Jon Rauch to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with a $3.75 million option for 2012.

Rauch had a decent year last year, pressed into service as the Twins’ closer when Joe Nathan had Tommy John surgery. He had a 3.12 ERA and 46 strikeouts and 14 walks in 57.2 innings and converted 21 of 25 saves.  He also led the league in being really, really tall and in having neck tattoos, so he’s not a one-dimensional player.

Octavio Dotel will likely start as the closer, but given how erratic he can be, the Jays may happily turn to Rauch if need be.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.