After being released by the Braves last week, veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers.
Rodriguez had a fine showing as a non-roster player with Atlanta this spring and appeared to have a rotation spot locked down at one point. However, the Braves traded for Trevor Cahill last week and opted to go with Eric Stults over Rodriguez for the fifth starter job.
Rodriguez is now 36 and has struggled to stay healthy over the past three years, but he could get an opportunity with the big club if he gets off to a good start with Triple-A Round Rock. With Yu Darvish sidelined, the Rangers are set to go with Yovani Gallardo, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, and Nick Martinez in their starting rotation.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).