The Rangers’ interest in first baseman Mike Napoli is real, but the pursuit hasn’t exactly been all-out, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. While there’s certainly a financial component to the current standoff, Wilson argues that the team’s mix of alternatives at first base and DH may also be an independent factor. It’s time the club finds out whether Ryan Rua, Jurickson Profar, and Joey Gallo can handle regular MLB roles, he suggests, and that may be holding the Rangers back from pushing to land Napoli.
Here’s more from the American League:
- While it seems as if the door is all but shut on a return of Matt Wieters to the Orioles, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com wonders whether Baltimore ought to reconsider. If the price has fallen as far as it seems, Connolly reasons, Wieters would combine with Welington Castillo to form a strong backstop duo. Both could also spend some time at DH, perhaps along with a variety of other players that could rotate through that slot.
- It seems that the Athletics are set to utilize Jed Lowrie as their regular option at second, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Twitter. Manager Bob Melvin says it’s Lowrie’s job so long as he’s healthy. Oakland has received positive indications on Lowrie’s recovery from foot surgery. The 32-year-old will also be looking to bounce back from a tepid year at the plate.
- The Rays haven’t yet announced the signing of outfielder Colby Rasmus, but that’s not due to any issues with his physical, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). It’s not immediately clear what the holdup is, though it could simply be that the team is waiting to sort out a roster move before making it official.