Jose Contreras won’t make the Rangers, could retire

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Back in December the Rangers signed 42 year-old Jose Contereas to a minor league deal. After a lackluster spring trianing they have informed him, however, that he will not make the Opening Day roster.

This could very well be the end of the line for Contreras, who pitched only five innings for the Pirates in 2013 after coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery. He was somewhat effective in the minors while rehabbing, but that’s probably because the guy has more veteran guile and smarts in his little finger than all of the Triple-A hitters have collectively. It’s questionable whether, at his age, he can still get it done in the majors.

Which, however inevitable this is, is sad. Contreras is so fun to watch. One hopes that, if his big league career is over, he pitches until he’s, like, 55 in various independent or foreign leagues.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.