Marlins on deck for Showtime series “The Franchise”

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UPDATE: Confirming what Variety reported last month, MLB officially announced today that the Marlins will be Showtime’s subject for this season of “The Franchise.” New episodes are expected to begin around the All-Star break.

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Last year Showtime featured the reigning World Series champion Giants on their documentary series “The Franchise” and they’re close to naming the Marlins as the subject for the show’s second season.

Jon Weisman of Variety reports that “Showtime and Major League Baseball are believed to be close to a deal” that would allow the cameras to follow the Marlins around for the season, which could be pretty amazing television considering the presence of Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez, and Logan Morrison and his Twitter account, not to mention the new ballpark and new uniforms.

According to Weisman the series drew an average of 651,000 viewers per show last year, with eight total episodes chronicling the Giants’ unsuccessful attempt to repeat as champs.

I’m hoping following the Marlins around goes so well that Ozzie gets his own spin-off show and maybe even does some crossover guest appearances on “Shameless.” I think he’d have great chemistry with Emmy Rossum.

Report: Rangers sign Joely Rodríguez to two-year, $5.5 million contract

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Jon Morosi reports that the Rangers and reliever Joely Rodríguez have agreed to a two-year contract worth $5.5 million.

Rodríguez, 28, pitched briefly for the Phillies in 2016-17, posting a disappointing 5.40 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 19 walks over 36 2/3 innings. He pitched in the Rangers’ and Orioles’ minor league systems in ’17-18 before traveling to Japan to play for the Chunichi Dragons. Rodríguez had much more success there. In 87 2/3 innings with the Dragons, he posted a 1.85 ERA with 103 strikeouts and 28 walks.

The Rangers’ bullpen was among the worst in the league last season, so the addition of Rodríguez behind closer José Leclerc should help.