Rangers name Chris Woodward as new manager

Chris Woodward
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The Rangers have hired Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward as their next manager, according to a team announcement on Saturday.

The 42-year-old Woodward was rumored to be the frontrunner for the gig on Friday. The Rangers interviewed nearly a dozen candidates in their search to supplant former manager Jeff Banister and interim skipper Don Wakamatsu, including Twins bench coach Derek Shelton, Astros bench coach Joe Espada, and Angels special assistant Eric Chavez, among others. There was some thought that the club wanted to wrap up the process by the start of the General Mangers Meetings on Monday, and it appears they’ve now met that deadline.

Woodward capped an 11-year career with the Blue Jays, Mets, Mariners, Braves, and Red Sox at the end of the 2011 season. While he doesn’t come with any prior managerial experience in Major League Baseball, he managed the New Zealand team during the World Baseball Classic in 2017 and has extensive experience as a former minor league infield coordinator and infield coach for the Mariners, not to mention the two years he spent as bench coach in the Dodgers’ organization.

The new skipper isn’t the only addition to the Rangers’ front office this offseason. The team also hired former scout and USA Baseball director Matt Blood as Director of Player Management on Friday and promoted Assistant Director of Player Development, Paul Kruger, to Director of Minor League Operations.

Orioles option LHP Bruce Zimmermann to minors

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SARASOTA, Fla. – The Baltimore Orioles have optioned left-handers Bruce Zimmermann and Nick Vespi and reassigned infielder Lewin Díaz, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez and catcher Mark Kolozsvary to minor league camp.

The Orioles announced the moves Monday.

Baltimore’s spring training roster now has 46 players.

Zimmermann made 13 starts last season. He went 2-5 with a 5.99 ERA.

The competition for rotation spots with the Orioles has been a significant story during spring training, but after the team acquired Cole Irvin and Kyle Gibson in the offseason – and with top prospect Grayson Rodriguez in the mix as well – there were a lot of pitchers Zimmermann needed to beat out.