Tony La Russa says he’s not going to manage the Angels

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Guess that’s a relief to Mike Scioscia, who currently has the job and is under contract to manage the Angels through 2018. But Ken Rosenthal and La Russa have heard the rumors, and those rumors had to be addressed:

“I’m not going to manage again,” La Russa told FOXSports.com on Wednesday night. “I’m going to work for a team someday. But it won’t be managing.”

La Russa had planned to be at the Tigers-Angels series this weekend because he is close with Jim Leyland, Dave Dombrowski and Albert Pujols, but now he says he’s not going so as not to make it appear as though he’s looming over Mike Scioscia’s shoulder. Which is pretty classy of him.

Still, even if La Russa isn’t interested, I stand by my preseason prediction that Mike Scioscia will be the first manager fired this year, five years left on his contract or not.  You rarely get more than one chance to manage a team that has made giant splashes on the free agent market. Unless the Angels turn things around quickly, they will be facing the second straight year of falling flat after spending a gabillion bucks.  Someone’s gotta pay for that.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.