Outfielder/designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo is a “luxury” the Rangers can’t afford, opines the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant, who contends that the team should shop the 35-year-old in hopes of improving elsewhere. Choo has an onerous contract, though, as he’s owed $62MM through 2020, so the Rangers’ best hope might be flipping him for another team’s unappealing deal, Grant writes. With that in mind, Grant lists three right-handers signed through 2020 – the Tigers’ Jordan Zimmermann ($74MM remaining on his pact), the Royals’ Ian Kennedy ($49MM) and the Reds’ Homer Bailey ($49MM, including a $5MM buyout in 2020) – as players the starter-needy Rangers could potentially acquire in exchange for Choo. Notably, Choo spent the 2013 campaign in Cincinnati and thrived, which helped pave the way for him to sign a seven-year, $130MM pact with the Rangers in the ensuing offseason.
More from the American League:
- Red Sox catcher prospect Daniel Flores passed away Wednesday over complications stemming from cancer treatment, but he was only diagnosed with the disease (testicular cancer) in late October, family friend Jose Salas Jr. told Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. “When we saw it was bad, we did CT scans, X-rays, and stuff, and it was way too late, it was already too late,” said Salas, who was also Flores’ trainer. “He was so strong that he wouldn’t feel pain. . . . There were no indications, nothing suspicious, no negligence, there was nothing. . . . I don’t know what to tell you.” Flores was playing in the Dominican Republic instructional league shortly before he received his diagnosis, which came after he complained of back pain, and teammate and pitching prospect Alex Scherff informed Speier that “you literally couldn’t have been able to see that he was in that condition at all. He completely dominates the game. He’s the best catcher I’ve ever seen, no doubt in my mind at all.” Speier’s piece, which further profiles Flores and includes more quotes from Salas and Scherff, is certainly worth checking out in full.
- The Mariners are “highly unlikely” to reunite with free agent outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, Greg Johns of MLB.com hears. While Ichiro established himself as a Mariners legend during his time with the club from 2001-12, bringing the 44-year-old back would go against the team’s plans to get younger, Johns notes. It’s also unclear how much the future Hall of Famer has left at this point, given that he slashed a paltry .255/.318/.332 in 215 plate appearances with the Marlins this past season. That subpar output led the Fish to decline Ichiro’s inexpensive team option ($2MM).
- Although Zach Britton, Richard Bleier and Donnie Hart remain on hand after seeing plenty of action in 2017, the Orioles are nonetheless on the lookout for left-handed relief help, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The top available free agents include Mike Minor, Jake McGee, ex-Oriole Brian Duensing and Tony Watson, though the club could instead opt for a low-profile addition on a minor league deal, Kubatko suggests.