Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Rays to retire No. 66 in honor of Zimmer

THE TAMPA BAY RAYS will honor former senior adviser Don Zimmer by retiring uniform No. 66 before their April 6 season opener against Baltimore.

THE TAMPA BAY RAYS will honor former senior adviser Don Zimmer by retiring uniform No. 66 before their April 6 season opener against Baltimore.

Zimmer spent 11 years with the Rays, from 2004-14. It was his longest stint in his 66 years with 14 major league teams as a player, coach, manager or adviser.

Zimmer was 83 when he died on June 4, 2014. Three days later, the Rays and Seattle Mariners wore Zimmer's No. 23 Brooklyn Dodgers jersey in a pregame tribute at Tropicana Field. He began his career as an infielder with the Dodgers in 1954.

The Rays have retired only two other numbers. Wade Boggs' No. 12 was retired in 1999, and Jackie Robinson's No. 42 was retired by all teams in 1997.


* New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson didn't deny that economics played a role in scheduling Jacob deGrom to start the April 13 home opener against the Phillies, which is close to a sellout. Meanwhile, there are plenty of tickets available for the following night, when Matt Harvey, the team's 2013 ace returning from an elbow injury, likely would start.

"Look, we take a lot of things into account," Alderson said. "You're assuming more people are interested in seeing Harvey pitch than Jacob. That's probably true, but not something I would acknowledge."

* Masahiro Tanaka is lined up to start the Yankees' opener against Toronto on April 6, which would end CC Sabathia's streak of six straight Opening Day starts for New York. Manager Joe Girardi says Sabathia's next exhibition start is Saturday, which lines up the 34-year-old lefthander to face the Blue Jays on April 8. Sabathia is coming back from season-ending knee surgery in July. He has 11 Opening Day starts overall.

In other Yankees news, outfield prospect Jose Pirela is feeling much better, 2 days after sustaining a concussion when he crashed into the centerfield wall on a play that ended up an inside-the-park home run for the Mets' Juan Lagares. Pirela met with reporters in the Yankees dugout before last night's game with Detroit and said he has no dizziness.

"The only thing I have is still a little bit of soreness in my neck and in my back, my entire back," Pirela said through a translator.

Pirela will have to clear concussion tests before returning.

* Cuban infielder Hector Olivera and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a 6-year, $62.5 million contract, agent Greg Genske said. The agreement includes a $28 million signing bonus. Olivera, said to be 29, was on the Cuban team that won the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics.

In other Dodgers news, the team will rest lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu for 2 weeks to see if it helps ease the discomfort in his pitching shoulder.

Ryu recently underwent a contrast MRI in Los Angeles that showed no change from the one he took in 2012. The plan is for him to go through rehabilitation before being re-evaluated. From there, the Dodgers will figure out a throwing program for Ryu, who will likely begin the season on the disabled list. Last week, Ryu received an inflammation-reducing injection.

* Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier agreed to a 4-year, $20 million contract extension through 2018.

* Alex Gonzalez, a 23-year-old righthander bidding for a spot in the Rangers' starting rotation, was assigned to the club's minor league camp.