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Angels hire Tony La Russa as baseball operations special assistant

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The Angels have announced that the organization hired Tony La Russa as a special assistant in baseball operations.

La Russa, 75, had been the vice president and a special assistant to the president of baseball operations with the Red Sox for the past two years. From May 2014 to November 2017, La Russa was the chief baseball officer and, later, the chief baseball analyst with the Diamondbacks.

La Russa was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2014 — along with Bobby Cox and Joe Torre — for his storied career as a manager. He won three championships: one with the Athletics in 1989 and two with the Caridnals in 2006 and 2011. He has the third-most wins all time by a manager (2,728) behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763).

Cubs sign Jeremy Jeffress

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The Chicago Cubs have signed reliever Jeremy Jeffress to a one-year, $850,000 deal.

While Jeffress is coming off a bad year — due mostly to hip and shoulder problems — this is a surprisingly low figure for Jeffress, who was said to have had a “sizable market” last September, with the Mets, Phillies, Reds, and Rays all rumored to be in on him. It’s also worth noting that he is just a year removed from an excellent 1.29 ERA season with the Brewers. He is reported to be eligible for $200,000 in incentives, which could bring this deal closer to what a reliever of his caliber’s going rate might be.

As for the Cubs, they haven’t been particularly active this offseason — indeed, this is their first free agent acquisition — but I suppose we should give them credit for buying low on a guy who should probably be able to help their bullpen.