Chuck Greenberg to resign as Rangers CEO today

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This is pretty shocking: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg is going to resign today as the team’s managing partner “to pursue other interests.”

Since “pursuing other interests” is the universal euphemism for “he’s being forced out,” we should expect to hear more about the reasons behind this, but for now no reason was given.  The speculation is that he has clashed with other members of the Rangers’ ownership group, Nolan Ryan and perhaps even Major League Baseball.  He was notably absent from Rangers business meetings over the weekend, the Star-Telegram reports. UPDATE: Jon Heyman hears that the critical clash was with Ryan.

Since taking over the Rangers, Greenberg’s most notable off-the-field conduct has skewed a bit unconventional. He clearly differed with Ryan and Jon Daniels on the pursuit of Cliff Lee, which Greenberg pushed hard for and about which Ryan and Daniels were less enthusiastic. He had a couple of public spats with Yankees President Randy Levine over the nature of New York fans and revenue sharing. As is usually the case, however, I’m guessing that the real driver here is behind-the-scenes stuff.

A resignation basically makes Greenberg invisible as far as baseball is concerned. He was the prime mover in getting the ownership group together, but his personal equity stake int he Rangers is really low, relatively speaking.  After he resigns he’s basically the owner of a very small minority of the team with no power and no say over operations or anything.  I suspect that Nolan Ryan — the only other member of the group who has been a public face of the team — will take over as the managing partner.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.