Clemens ready for next move

AP / File
Roger Clemens might start his personal- services contract with Houston.

Roger Clemens is ready to join the Houston Astros -- as a consultant.

In a sign that Clemens' pitching career could be over, his agent told the Astros on Wednesday that the seven-time Cy Young winner is set to start his personal-services contract with the team.

"He's moving toward retirement and leaving open the possibility of playing," agent Randy Hendricks said. "As Roger has stated several times, he's failed at retirement repeatedly."

This was the first time Hendricks formally told Houston that Clemens was ready to work off the field.

The 45-year-old Clemens was 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 17 starts and one relief appearance for the New York Yankees last season. He rejoined the Yankees following three years with his hometown Astros.

ANGELS: Outfielder Gary Matthews Jr . met with baseball officials to discuss allegations that he received human growth hormone.

Matthews was sent HGH in 2004 from a pharmacy being investigated for illegal distribution of performance-enhancing drugs, The Times Union of Albany, N.Y., reported last winter. Matthews denied using HGH, which was not banned by baseball for players with major league contracts until 2005.

RANGERS: Alex Rodriguez will still be on Texas' books for quite a while.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the team must fund the original $9 million in deferred payments Rodriguez was owed for the remainder of the $252 million, 10-year contract he signed with the team before the 2001 season.

That money, $3 million for each of the next three seasons, was reconfigured into an assignment bonus at the time of A-Rod's 2004 trade to the New York Yankees.

DODGERS: Longtime sports executive Dennis Mannion was hired as chief operating officer.

Mannion has been senior vice president/business ventures for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens the past eight years. Before that, he spent 16 years working for the Philadelphia Phillies.

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