Diamondbacks release Rod Barajas

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Arizona offered Rod Barajas the backup catcher job in December and when he turned it down the Diamondbacks signed Wil Nieves instead.

Barajas eventually ended up taking a minor-league from the Diamondbacks anyway, but today they released him. That means Nieves will be Miguel Montero’s backup and Barajas will have to go looking for another minor-league deal, as Arizona cut him loose to avoid paying a $100,000 bonus for agreeing to a Triple-A assignment.

Barajas can’t really throw any more and has always made a ton of outs, but he still has enough power to be a not-horrible veteran backup at age 37.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however, and this season the descent has continued. Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a rebuild is in the club’s future.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.