UPDATE, 12-14-07 at 10:09am: Ah, now the true story comes out on Otsuka. MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers were going to send him to the White Sox for Chris Carter but the Sox nixed the deal after looking at Otsuka’s medical reports. No surprise the Rangers non-tendered him, now. Hat tip to Rangerfans.com.
FROM 12-14-07 at 8:47am:
Reliever Akinori Otsuka hit the free agent market on Wednesday; he turns 36 in January. With a career ERA of 2.44 in 232 innings, it’s surprising the Rangers chose to non-tender him. Otsuka earned $3MM in 2007, and even with a raise he’d have been a decent play on a one-year deal.
Unless, of course, the Rangers believes something is still wrong with Otsuka’s elbow. I think that has to be the case, despite a trickle of positive reports recently. The Phillies are the latest team to express interest in Otsuka. Also, Tom Krasovic suggested a few days ago that the Padres might look to bring him back.
Back to the Phillies for a moment – Steve King notes that they have no interest in free agent Morgan Ensberg. Also, they’re still planning to watch Kris Benson throw next week.