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Mariners to sign reliever Marc Rzepczynski

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mariners “on the verge” of signing free agent left-hander Marc Rzepczynski. Which seems to be a dramatic way to characterize a signing of a guy like Marc Rzepczynski — “verges” seem like something preceding audacious moves — but we’ll let Ken have this one, as it’s the holidays.

Rzepczynski, whose name has only been typed once, by a Toronto beat writer back in 2009, and since then has only been copied and pasted, spent 2016 with the Athletics and Nationals. The 31-year-old lefty specialist has handled lefty batters to the tune of .222/.291/.298 for his career and, as a result, one may reasonably presume that he will pitch for another 30-35 seasons.

Rosenthal says there are only a few “last-minute details to cover” before the agreement with Seattle is made official.

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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.