Rickie Weeks released by the Mariners

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Seattle has released veteran infielder/outfielder Rickie Weeks after designating him for assignment last week.

Weeks was Milwaukee’s starting second baseman for a decade, but lost the job to Scooter Gennett last season and struggled to find much of a market as a free agent this winter.

He signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Mariners as a left fielder/designated hitter and then hit .167 in 37 games after coming into the season as a 32-year-old with a lifetime .771 OPS in 1,142 games.

He’ll likely have to settle for a minor-league deal and needs to get back on track offensively given how few teams probably still view him as a viable defensive second baseman. Weeks’ best fit at this point is probably as a platoon lefty-masher.

Angels name Brad Ausmus new manager

Brad Ausmus
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Former MLB player and manager Brad Ausmus will manage the Angels in 2019, the team announced Sunday. His contract will extend through the 2021 season, though it’s not clear whether a club option exists for 2022. A formal press conference will be held on Monday at 1:00 PM PDT to introduce the new skipper.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler gave a statement following Ausmus’ hiring:

Ausmus, 49, was also considered for a managerial role with the Reds prior to their hiring of David Bell on Sunday. He’ll replace longtime manager Mike Scioscia, who finished his 19th and final campaign with the club on the last day of the 2018 season.

A former catcher and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Ausmus capped his 18-year MLB playing career in 2010. He managed the Tigers from 2014 to 2017, during which he guided the club to a 314-332 record and a postseason berth in 2014. After the Tigers declined to offer the skipper an extension in 2018, he was hired as a special assistant to the Angels’ general manager, and remained in that role for the duration of the regular season.