Andrew Friedman announced this morning that Rocco Baldelli has been hired by the Rays to serve as a “special assistant” and will work primarily with minor leaguers.
Baldelii will be a special assistant, working with young players. Said he is “not ready to retire” and has a shoulder issue, but has no set plans to return to field as a player…Baldelli, 28, will be a roving instructor concentrating on outfield and baserunning…“Obviously we’re thrilled to add Rocco and his experience and what he can bring to our young players,” Friedman said. “We think he’ll be a tremendous asset for us. And he looks better in blue.”
Baldelli added about the Rays organization: “I feel like this is my home.”
Baldelli has an undisclosed shoulder ailment that may require surgery. He could DH at some point this season and Friedman did not rule out the possibility of that happening with the Rays.
Friedman said the deal was not done with the idea of having Baldelli play for the Rays in 2010, but “anything’s possible.”
Rocco hit .253-7-23 in 62 games for the Red Sox this season. There was some speculation that the Yankees were interested in his services earlier this off-season.