Fourteen-time All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez who started his career with the Texas Rangers at age 19 was acquired in a trade Tuesday with the Houston Astros for minor league pitcher Matt Nevarez and two players to be named.
Rodriguez is one of the most popular players in Rangers history, winning 10 of his 13 Gold Gloves with them. He helped lead the franchise’s only three playoff teams in 1996, 1998 and 1999, when he won the A.L. MVP award.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Rodriguez would back up Taylor Teagarden, who became the starting catcher when Jarrod Saltalamacchia went on the disabled list last week. Rodriguez agreed to waive his no-trade clause after telling the Rangers he could accept a backup role.
Cubs to call on Marmol to close
Beleaguered Chicago Cubs closer Kevin Gregg was demoted Tuesday, and replaced by right-hander Carlos Marmol.
Manager Lou Piniella disclosed the move after Gregg blew another save in a 4-1 loss to San Diego.
Gregg has blown three of his last five save chances, including Monday night’s loss to the Padres when rookie Kyle Blanks hit a three-run homer in the ninth to cap a four-run inning.
It was the 12th homer allowed by Gregg in 561/3 innings this season, the most in the majors for a reliever.
Strasburg unlikely to pitch for Nats in ’09
The Washington Nationals set about tamping down everyone’s expectations for the hard-throwing Stephen Strasburg, who has been labeled a once-in-a- generation talent.
Acting Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday it’s “very unlikely” Strasburg will be called up to the majors this season.
Strasburg has not pitched in a game since May 29, when he and San Diego State were beaten by Virginia 5-1 in an NCAA regional game – the only loss of his junior year.
Padres sign Oregon State pitcher
The San Diego Padres announced they have signed Oregon State right-hander Jorge Reyes to a contract.
Named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2007 College World Series as a freshman, Reyes finished the 2009 season with a 6-2 record and 4.20 ERA.