Rosenthal: The Rays made a play for K-Rod

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The Rays aren’t ready to go into sell-mode yet.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Rays made a play for Francisco Rodriguez before the the Brewers “swooped in late.”

Rosenthal expounded on the subject in today’s “Full Count” video, citing K-Rod’s past connection with Rays manager Joe Maddon as a potential reason for their interest.

Of course, Kyle Farnsworth has been a revelation out of the closer’s role for the Rays this season, posting a 1.95 ERA, 18 saves in 20 chances and a 26/5 K/BB ratio over 37 innings. While it’s an interesting “what if” scenario, you’d have to think Scott Boras would have worked out a similar deal to waive K-Rod’s vesting option for 2012. It’s pretty clear he wanted him to be a free agent all along.

Rene Rivera out 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery

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Angels catcher Rene Rivera will be sidelined for up to six weeks, the club announced Friday. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation last Sunday and underwent surgery for a torn meniscus.

Rivera, 34, signed on as a backup catcher to the Angels’ Martin Maldonado back in January. Since then, he’s slashed a healthy .259/.322/.481 with six extra-base hits and an .804 OPS in 59 plate appearances this spring. While manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t anticipate any complications with the veteran catcher’s recovery process, the team will have to wait and see whether he can maintain that kind of consistent production upon his return this summer.

In the interim, rookie backstop Jose Briceno is expected to shoulder Rivera’s workload. The 25-year-old is working through his second year in the Angels’ organization and currently batting .261/.272/.500 with six home runs in 92 PA for Triple-A Salt Lake. He’s likely to make his big league debut sometime in the next week.