Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs

Fish unlikely to trade for Big Z, might try James Shields

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There’s been quite a bit of talk about the Marlins having interest in bringing aboard troubled Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano. One report even stated that new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen had contacted Big Z directly about a potential trade.

But it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen.

According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Marlins’ higher-ups aren’t bullish on the idea of taking on Zambrano’s hefty contract, which carries an $18 million salary for 2012 and a $19.25 million vesting option for 2013. They’re also not convinced that he can bounce back from a 2011 campaign that saw him post a career-worst 4.82 ERA across 24 starts.

The Fish would rather channel their resources into a trade for Rays right-hander James Shields, who registered a 2.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 225/65 K/BB ratio over 33 starts in 2011. His current deal is also far more affordable. Olney believes that outfielder Logan Morrison could be dangled in talks with Tampa.

Rangers sign Josh Hamilton to a minor league deal

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The Texas Rangers have signed Josh Hamilton to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Not at all surprising. The Rangers released Hamilton last August, but that was simply to make some room on the 40-man roster. His season was already toast due to the surgery he underwent to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee which had the added bonus of revealing that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. At the time of his release both he and the Rangers made noises about him coming back on a minor league deal in 2017.

Hamilton turns 36 in May. The smart money has it that his big league career is over, but Hamilton would be silly to retire given that he is owed $30 million this coming season. That the Angels are paying $26.41 million of that makes it far less painful for the Rangers as well. If he can hit in the spring, hey, let him DH some and pay him low money. If not, no skin off of anyone’s nose. He can request a release on April 1 if he hasn’t made the big league roster.

A-Rod to host a reality show featuring broke ex-athletes

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Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.

He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:

Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.