One year after retiring as a player Ivan Rodriguez has another gig in baseball, as the Rangers announced today that he’ll rejoin the organization as a special assistant to the general manager, instructor, and ambassador.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Rodriguez’s first duties will involve going to spring training next weekend, presumably to do some coaching.
“We went to a tryout game and he wanted so badly to instruct that we almost literally had to hold him back,” general manager Jon Daniels said in describing Rodriguez’s passion for the new role.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: