Kenny Lofton to be an Indians instructor/team ambassador

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There are a lot of these sorts of deals around — former player agrees to hang out at spring training and work with select players on his area of expertise.  Kenny Lofton is a great choice for this in Indians camp.  The stuff he did best is the stuff that is probably the most teachable: making smart decisions on the basepaths, positioning oneself correctly on defensive.  No, he can’t teach his speed, but any little bit helps coming from a guy with his track record.

The unusual thing about this deal — and I’m really only half-joking — is that it’s not at all out of the realm of possibility that he’d be a better choice for the Indians’ roster than some of the guys who will ultimately make it.

Shawn Tolleson retires from baseball

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Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that reliever Shawn Tolleson is retiring from baseball. The right-hander experienced a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery last week.

Tolleson, who turns 31 years old on Saturday, last pitched in the majors in 2016. He had two very good years out of the bullpen for the Rangers in 2014-15, posting an aggregate 2.88 ERA with 145 strikeouts and 45 walks across 144 innings.

Tolleson signed a one-year deal with the Rays in January 2017 before undergoing Tommy John surgery several months later. The Rangers inked him to a minor league contract in December 2017, but he wasn’t able to work his way back.