Health problems forced Rocco Baldelli into early retirement in his twenties, but he’s stayed in baseball working for the Rays’ in a front office role and now he’s back on the field as Tampa Bay’s new first base coach.
Baldelli, who’s still just 33 years old, joins 37-year-old rookie manager Kevin Cash’s coaching staff along with longtime Triple-A Durham manager Charlie Montoyo as third base coach. Tom Foley shifts to bench coach.
Baldelli was the sixth overall pick in the 2000 draft and ranked as the No. 2 prospect on Baseball America’s list for 2003. He debuted that season at age 21 and had back-to-back productive years as a speedy, good-hitting center fielder, but then the injuries started to pile up and he logged a grand total of just 429 plate appearances from age 25 on.
CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox acquired reliever Franklin German in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
The White Sox sent minor league right-hander Theo Denlinger to Boston for German, who made his major league debut in September. Right-hander Jason Bilous was designated for assignment to make room for German on Chicago’s 40-man roster.
The 25-year-old German played for Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester for most of last season, going 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and seven saves in in 43 relief appearances. The right-hander had no record and an 18.00 ERA in five appearances with the Red Sox.
German, a fourth-round pick in the 2018 amateur draft, was designated for assignment when Boston acquired reliever Richard Bleier in a trade with Miami.
The 26-year-old Denlinger had a 2-2 record and a 4.47 ERA in 40 appearances last season with Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He was a seventh-round selection in the 2021 draft out of Bradley University.