Padres set for another round of general manager interviews next week

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The Padres have narrowed the field as they search for a new general manager to replace Josh Byrnes, but they won’t make a decision until after a round of second interviews next week, according to Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller.

The Padres are looking at the Yankees’ Cody Eppler, the Red Sox’s Mike Hazen, former Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng and the Rangers’ A.J. Preller, Miller reports. ESPN’s Jim Bowden pegged Hazen as the favorite.

If Hazen is hired, he’d be the third straight Padres GM with Red Sox ties. Jed Hoyer was hired directly from Boston in 2009. He was later let go to join Theo Epstein and become the Cubs GM. His replacement, Byrnes, worked alongside Hoyer in Boston up until 2005, when he was hired by the Diamondbacks. Current Padres team president Mike Dee worked for the Red Sox from 2002-09.

The Padres are also reportedly looking to bring back former GM Kevin Towers in an advisory role, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. Towers remains the Diamondbacks’ general manager at the moment, but it’s assumed that he’s being phased out following the addition of Tony La Russa to the front office.

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.