Thursday, January 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Don Zimmer to return for 10th season as Rays senior adviser

ST. PETERSBURG — Don Zimmer is nearing 82 and needs a hand more often, his wife Soot's responsibilities expanded to include managing his nightly home dialysis treatments.

But with the kidney and diabetes problems that kept him away from Tropicana Field much of last season under control, he's feeling better, good enough to sign on for a 10th season as the Rays' senior adviser. It will be his 65th season overall in professional baseball.

"I had a tough time for four-five months there," Zimmer said Thursday. "I feel a little stronger now, everything's working out pretty good cause I've got a hell of a nurse. … If I feel as good as I do now, I'll be there at every (home) game."

Technically, Zimmer's responsibilities are to assist during spring training and pregame work at home, but his role is much broader, more like a guru to the entire organization.

"Zim has been a valuable resource, not only for our players and coaching staff but for our front office as well," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said in a statement.

In other Rays news:

• Today is the deadline for the Rays, under the new MLB system, to make a one-year qualifying offer, at the set price of $13.3 million, to centerfielder B.J. Upton in order to get draft-pick compensation assuming, as expected, he declines and signs elsewhere.

• Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee and left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser were chosen to play in Saturday's Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, 8 p.m. on MLB Network.

Marlins hire Redmond from Jays' minors

MIAMI — The Marlins' celebrity manager was a bust, so they're calling one up from the minors in Dunedin. Mike Redmond, who spent the past two years managing Class A teams in the Blue Jays' system, was hired to replace Ozzie Guillen.

A former catcher, Redmond, 41, had not interviewed for a big-league job until last week. He received a three-year deal and will be introduced as the team's fifth manager since mid 2010 today.

Redmond played seven years for the Marlins and was the backup catcher on their 2003 World Series championship team. This year he managed Dunedin to a 78-55 record and a berth in the Florida State League playoffs.

Former pitcher Killed: Former pitcher Pascual Perez, whose 11-season career included two suspensions for drug use, was killed at his home in the Dominican Republic in an apparent robbery, police said.

Perez, 55, who last played for tin 1991, was found with a severe head wound. Authorities did not reveal whether they had any suspects. There was evidence to suggest that whoever killed him had been searching for money, officials said.

Perez, 55, had a record of 67-68 with the Braves, Pirates, Expos and Yankees. In 1982, he helped Atlanta win the NL West, but in August of that season he missed a start because, as he later explained, he missed a highway exit sign and spent almost two hours circling Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium.

Giants, Huff split: The Giants declined to exercise their $10 million option for first baseman/outfielder Aubrey Huff, who had two disappointing seasons after a big year during the team's title run two years ago. The former Ray will receive a $2 million buyout.

Schilling suit: Rhode Island's economic development agency is suing former pitcher Curt Schilling and former officials of his 38 Studios video game company, saying they committed fraud and misled the state into approving a $75 million loan guarantee. The company filed for bankruptcy, leaving the state on the hook for as much as $100 million.

Phillies: The team picked up the $5 million option on Carlos Ruiz and declined options on Ty Wigginton and reliever Jose Contreras. It also gave third basemen Placido Polanco a $1 million buyout, and outfielder Juan Pierre and catcher Brian Schneider became free agents.

Rangers: Dave Anderson, a Gibbs High graduate, is switching from third- to first-base coach with Gary Pettis.

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