A’s “getting close” to acquiring Koji Uehara from Rangers

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Texas has been shopping Koji Uehara all offseason and they may have finally found a taker, as Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the Rangers are “getting close” to trading him to the A’s.

Uehara almost immediately fell out of favor with the Rangers after they acquired him from the Orioles for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis on July 30, but his $4 million salary for this season is plenty reasonable for a guy with a 2.56 ERA and remarkable 140/14 K/BB ratio in 109 innings during the past two seasons.

Uehara previously blocked a trade to the Blue Jays and was said to prefer a return to the Orioles, but if nothing else he should like pitching in Oakland’s ballpark and the A’s are smart to buy low on the 37-year-old right-hander. And he may get a chance to compete for the closer gig with Grant Balfour.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”