We’ve seen quite a lot of chatter surrounding the Rangers’ efforts to add another big bat, some of it contradictory. The team just added Todd Frazier, which plugs in one part of the corner infield picture. That likely reduces the urgency of adding righty pop, though it still seems the Texas org is at least dabbling in that market.
The top two names available are Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna. Both are rather youthful, well-established hitters but come with some demerits. It seems there are multiple organizations circling in hopes of securing a high-value contract. Whether there’s any significant appetite for a longer, larger deal isn’t entirely evident.
So, where do the Rangers stand with regard to these players? Depends who you ask. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets that the Rangers are “active” and “among the favorites” to secure the services of Castellanos. But Morosi said much the same last week, citing a recent in-person meeting, only for a team source to claim the sides hadn’t even yet had a sit-down.
In the interim, the Rangers were again cited as a finalist on a righty bat … this time, Ozuna. It has now been five days since the 28-year-old was said to be deciding between the Rangers and Cardinals, with no resolution. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets that he has “been given no indication of significant meaningful dialogue on Ozuna.”
In the course of throwing some cold water on the Ozuna concept, Grant notes that Castellanos is a “better fit” in Texas. That’s presumably because the latter slugger has experience in the corner infield and could step in at first base, which is reportedly where the team has been considering him all along.
As Grant notes, it’s theoretically possible that the Rangers could add one of these players, clear the resulting logjam by dealing Willie Calhoun, and still pick up Rockies star Nolan Arenado in a trade (perhaps involving Calhoun). Like the Cardinals, who also remain tied to Ozuna, the Rangers presumably still have at least one eye trained on Arenado. But that complicated scenario would leave Ozuna/Castellanos in the corner outfield mix, which is supposedly not the Rangers’ desired outcome in the case that they acquire the latter.
If it all feels a bit like running in circles … well, the Rangers and their rivals may be doing just that. Taken as a whole, it seems there’s a rousing game of musical chairs involving a variety of right-handed-hitting corner pieces. Josh Donaldson is among the other players involved; the Braves, Nationals, Reds, and perhaps other teams are also somewhere in the picture.
Castellanos could take Calhoun’s place if Calhoun was used to get Arenado. Castellanos is probably no worse of a defender than Calhoun and could move into DH slot in 2021.
I thought you can’t trade a FA you just signed for a few months? Anyone know the rule?
Only in MLB The Show video game. I’m unaware of any rule in the actual MLB. As long as a player is under contract and does not have a no-trade clause, a team can trade a player who has just signed with them via free agency…now that’s a bad way to try to get free agents to sign with you but I don’t believe there is any rule that actually restricts it.
Article XX-B MLB Free-Agency:
An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a Major League contract after 11:59PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series receives automatic “no trade” rights that extend through June 15th of the following season, even if the player re-signs with his former club. An Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent who receives “no trade” rights this way can waive the right, but if he does, his club can trade the player only for player contracts and/or cash with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. Note that a player who signs a Major League contract after becoming a free-agent by any other means (Outright Release, Non-Tendered, or Article XX-D or MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent) does NOT receive automatic “no trade” rights through June 15th.
A-A who are you talking about trading?
rangers going to sign both Marcell Ozuna
I wonder if Castellanos is going to be this year’s 17/18 Moose. High price, others go first, bidders go cold or take other alternatives. 7 years, 7.1 Career BWAR. Maybe he’s the guy who finished up in Chicago, and maybe he’s just a 2+WAR player without a good position.
I doubt that Nicholas Castellanos would sign a one year ‘pillow’ type contract since he doesn’t have a qualifying offer attached to him this offseason. If he did and his new club kept him for the entirety of the 2020 season he could potentially receive a QO next offseason which could restrict his free agent market.
Marcel Ozuna does have a QO this offseason and might be more inclined to sign a ‘pillow’ contract knowing that he won’t be eligible for another one in the future.
How would NC be subjected to a qualifying offer? I thought that is just for players finishing their arbitration.
Qualifying Offer Definition:
The qualifying offer is a competitive balance measure that was implemented as part of the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement and restructured under the 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Clubs wishing to receive compensatory Draft picks for the loss of a free agent can make a one-year “qualifying offer,” worth the mean salary of MLB’s 125 highest-paid players, to their impending free agents prior to the onset of free agency if and only if:
1. That player has never received a qualifying offer previously in his career.
2. That player spent the entire season on that team’s roster (in-season acquisitions are ineligible).
The rule (http://m.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/qualifying-offer) goes on to state all the compensatory considerations for the offering team as well as the signing clubs. I don’t see anything in the rule restricting it to a free agent who just finished their arbitration eligibility.
Aaron is killing it with the #facts
I’m pretty much in the mindset that a deal for Arenado/Bryant isn’t going to happen at this point. Its hard to imagine we could provide the most lucrative package for Arenado, especially after the deal that St. Louis just completed. With that said, because I’m holding out the faintest bit of hope, I’d like to see Texas build a package around Calhoun, Jung and Winn. Maybe add Guzman if that is a player Colorado is interested in. Castellanos makes the most sense for our team as/is, but Ozuna might make more sense if a deal for Arenado could be completed prior to us making our final FA signing. This lineup looks pretty good:
Adding Arrenado and Castellanos would add about $50 million to the payroll
It would be awesome but don’t see Jon Daniels doing that.. that would put the payroll at like $190 million..
Again.. that would be awesome
But don’t see it happening
It might help if we could find somebody who was willing to give us a stick of gum for Odor.
Or some Febreze. Sorry, couldn’t resist…
If they were leading the division at the AS break maybe. But even with them I’m not sure they are favorites
If we send that many top prospects to Colorado for Arenado, they better pay 75% of his contract or take odor in place of Jung.
Calhoun, Jung, and Winn? My god that’s a horrendous overpay.
Dude, you have no idea how to set a lineup. You’re gunna bat crappy Todd Frazier 5th, but Castellanos 7th? Choo 6th? You know Santana ain’t going to hit like he did last season.
I believe the Cubs and specifically Kris Bryant are very much a part of this “rousing game of musical chairs involving a variety of right-handed-hitting corner pieces”. The Cubs and other interested suitors are awaiting the Bryant service time arbitration grievance decision before engaging in more serious trade discussions.
Bryant, along with free agent Josh Donaldson are holding up the 3B market this offseason while the Rockies are beginning to sift through trade offers for Nolan Arenado which could involve the Cubs and Bryant, directly or indirectly depending on which rumor you believe most.
The Cubs payroll restrictions are also influencing the market, specifically involving Nicholas Castellanos who I believe prefers returning to Chicago over playing for the Rangers or Cardinals with each of these teams also reportedly interested in Arenado. The Cubs can’t sign Castellanos without first moving a significant contract like Bryant’s already agreed upon $18.6MM 2020 arbitration salary.
Musical chairs indeed!
I really would love to center an Arenado package around Palumbo instead of Calhoun, here’s what i’m thinking. Palumbo, Jung, Winn, Phillips, and Thompson. We’d eat all of Arenado’s money, cause we have the payroll space. But if I’m being honest… I don’t want the Rangers to get Arenado, I’d much rather us get Castellanos for 1st base, then slide him to DH next year when Choo is gone.. And when we have Fielder and Choo off the books next year, go get a 3b stopgap (or a platoon w/ Jung) and a true 1b.
MUCH PREFERED OPTION: Go sign Castellanos, and make a Trade for Josh Bell this offseason. The trade for Bell would include Guzman, Evans, Winn, Hearns, and Mathis. (tweak the trade instead of just saying how terrible it is). Then Bell is full time 1b, Castellanos is in right field until Choo leaves, Gallo in center, Calhoun in left. And here’s the lineup.
Odor / Solak (hopefully Solak)
Less money than Arenado, so I’m in. Plus I think Texas is the best landing spot for Bell since he is from DFW, and he’d be the start of a new era of Texas baseball.
Pittsburgh is not shopping Bell. How much of an overpay are you willing to do to change that?
Bout that much lol
Josh Donaldson (and the Kris Bryant arbitration decision) is holding up free agency. At least a lot of deals were done prior to this log jam.
Yeah I’m hoping that the KB decision gets figured out in the coming days, so that we can get this ball rolling for FA again. There are still very valuable players out there.
Ozuna makes no sense unless he can magically play good CF defense. Castellanos at 1B is the play.
Trade Calhoun and Guzman for bullpen depth
Felefa all around utility and Trade Odor for anything anything at all maybe even an NBA style money dump where we give some one draft picks to take him
Shoeless Joe's Diploma
Solak should be the 2B…. Arenado deal is too much money for “Iffy Contract” stay.
Castellanos seems the RIGHT deal and he does not move any Kiddo from the map.
Some team needs a 2B w/ 30 HR…. Choo / Feilder salaries off books 2021… Trade Odor before he sinks to 20 HR – move his salary and open-up for 2021… better choices. Texas.
Save the Kids
The talk of Arenado to the Rangers isn’t realistic because it is doubtful that Arenado waives his full no-trade clause to go there. Arenado wants to win now & while the Rangers have taken positive steps, they aren’t contenders yet.
I figured after Ozuna was off the table, Pirates would trade Marte in a hopeful good haul. This Ozuna situation has dragged out and doubt anything will come of Marte being traded this offseason. Most teams have filled their voids in the OF and ones who haven’t, really don’t feel the need to cough up a lot for Marte. Bummer
I get that Odor can be hard to watch, I get that he strikes out to much and is way overpaid. 30homers and 97 rbi is hard to completely dismiss.
Problem is that when you need him he strikes out. If we are up by 4 then he hits a 3 run homer. A lot of hollow stats.
He batted .205. He stinks. Hard to dismiss that fact
he also hit around ..260 in July and Sept. last year with a bunch of hrs and an ops over 900. He seems to be great or unplayable with 400 point swings in ops, No one is gonna take that contract so run him out there with a short string. If he fails go to solak. If he rakes smiles all around.