Ian Desmond’s path to the Rangers all began earlier in the offseason, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. The club let him know that they would have interest on the off chance that Desmond couldn’t find a multi-year deal and was willing to move to the outfield, says Grant, and that indeed turned out to be the case. “Things can change,” GM Jon Daniels explained. “You have to be prepared. You never know when a domino might fall. If you have any interest in that player, you have to express that early on.” Daniels has also made clear that he doesn’t believe there will be any difficulty in sorting out playing time when Josh Hamilton is ready to return.
Here’s more from Texas and the rest of the American League:
- Rangers co-owner Ray Davis discussed his organization today, and Grant has the story. Most notably, he said that the club can still add payroll for a mid-season addition after signing Desmond. As for that move, he explained: “It was a matter of need and Jon Daniels and Thad Levine finding a way to do things creatively. They came to us and proposed a creative deal. For me, this is a process where nobody other than the baseball people make the player decision. My only role is an economic one. They have a plan and decision they make long before they come to me.”
- Royals catcher Salvador Perez is excited at his new deal and hopes he’ll spend the rest of his career in Kansas City, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. From the team’s perspective, despite a team-friendly contract already being in place, it made sense to swing another deal. “We went into Salvy’s previous deal with expectations that obviously he was going to be a terrific player,” said GM Dayton Moore. “We’ve always believed in him — as a talent, as a person, as a teammate. And he’s out-performed that contract. He’s an underpaid player in the game.” Noting the sacrifice that Gil Meche made when he left money upon departing the team, Moore explained that the motivation extended beyond pure baseball economics. “You focus on what’s right for Sal,” Moore said. “We’ve said from day one, that we want to create an organization that we’d want our own sons and family to be a part of. Well, Salvy’s family.”
- Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders whether other clubs will follow suit in rewarding underpaid players. He cites Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, Jose Altuve of the Astros, Chris Sale of the White Sox, Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, and Chris Archer of the Rays as others on team-friendly pacts. From my perspective, most of those players line up more as traditional second extension candidates, in that their teams may well see some value in doubling down on their investments in the way that has occurred in the past for Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmerman, and others.
- As for Altuve, the Astros aren’t currently holding extension talks, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. Like his friend Perez, Altuve has greatly outperformed his own contract, which would stand to pay him just $25MM if Houston exercises its two options. As Drellich notes, though, Altuve would still stand to hit the market at 29 years of age and probably has a better chance at longevity than does Perez.
- White Sox skipper Robin Ventura says that he envisions Jimmy Rollins making the club out of camp, as Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune tweets. “I expect him to make the team, unless something happens physically where it wouldn’t work,” said Ventura.