Texas Rangers – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-02-20T14:02:28Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Getting Nick Solak Work In Center Field]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190930 2020-02-20T02:45:19Z 2020-02-20T02:45:19Z Acquired in a July trade that sent righty Peter Fairbanks to the Rays, Rangers infield prospect Nick Solak impressed upon being promoted to the show late in 2019, hitting .293/.393/.491 with five home runs, six doubles, a triple and two steals in 135 plate appearances. Pair that with his .289/.362/.532 slash in Triple-A last year, and it’s easy to see why Rangers president of baseball ops Jon Daniels, manager Chris Woodward and the rest of the organization’s decision-makers are so intrigued by Solak’s potential.

However, while there’s room for flexibility in the infield, the Texas organization is more focused on having Solak learn a position that is largely new to him this spring; Woodward tells Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that learning the ropes in center field is Solak’s “top priority” in Spring Training. Danny Santana is currently the team’s top option in center, but playing Solak there would free Santana to bounce around the diamond.

It’s a semi-surprising development for the 25-year-old Solak, who has played just 165 professional innings in center — nearly all of which came with the Rays’ Double-A affiliate back in 2018. He’s played left field a bit more regularly (506 pro innings), but the overwhelming majority of Solak’s experience on defense has come at second base, where he’s logged 2951 innings.

The possibility of Solak suiting up as even a semi-regular option in center field is indeed intriguing. Playing Solak in the outfield and not at third base would free the Rangers to use Todd Frazier at the hot corner regularly, giving former top prospect Ronald Guzman and perhaps non-roster players like Greg Bird and Sam Travis a chance to impress at first base. It’d also allow Santana to shift into a super-utility role that probably better suits him; the Twins tried Santana as a regular center fielder early in his career without much success.

For much of the offseason, center field looked to be an area of need in Arlington. (Of course, it very arguably still does, even with the Solak wrinkle now in play.) Delino DeShields has been the Rangers’ most regular option in recent years, but he’s now in Cleveland. Joey Gallo logged significant innings there in 2019 and graded out surprisingly well in the estimation of many defensive metrics, but the Rangers seem to prefer him in right field. Prospects Leody Taveras and Julio Pablo Martinez need more time to develop. And the Rangers clearly weren’t enamored of the options on the free-agent and trade markets — at least not at their respective asking prices.

Can Solak successfully make the move? FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen pegs his speed and arm at average on the 20-80 scale but grades him as a well below-average defender overall (though he nevertheless checked in as the game’s No. 109 overall prospect on Longenhagen’s rankings). Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo offer similar opinions at MLB.com, calling him a “fringy” defender all over the infield and outfield despite his athleticism and ability to run. Of course, if Solak hits like he did in Triple-A and in his big league debut, the Rangers might very well be able to live with some defensive growing pains as he adjusts to increased outfield reps. Santana will remain on hand as an option, should the experiment prove unsuccessful, but the manner in which Solak takes to his new position will be an fascinating scenario to watch as the Cactus League progresses.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Shin-Soo Choo Undecided On Playing In 2021]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190759 2020-02-18T04:53:11Z 2020-02-18T04:53:11Z
  • Speaking of uncertain futures, Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is going into the last season of his own lucrative the deal – the seven-year, $130MM contract he inked with the club before the 2014 campaign. It could prove to be the final season in the majors for the 37-year-old, who hasn’t decided whether to play in 2021, per Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. If Choo does elect to play past this year, though, he’d like to remain a Ranger, according to Wilson. Overall, the gamble the Rangers took on Choo in free agency hasn’t necessarily worked out as planned, but he remains a solid offensive player and an on-base machine. Choo slashed .265/.371/.455 with 24 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 660 trips to the plate last season.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Danny Santana Changes Representation]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190750 2020-02-18T03:22:55Z 2020-02-18T03:22:55Z Rangers utilityman Danny Santana has changed representation and is now a client of Gene Mato of Mato Sports Management, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.

    For the 29-year-old Santana, the agency switch comes on the heels of one of his most productive seasons. He burst on the scene as a member of the Twins in 2014, totaling 3.9 fWAR in his 430-plate appearance rookie campaign, but then struggled in the next four years. Between the Twins and the Braves from 2015-18, Santana batted a disastrous .219/.256/.319 line with six home runs over 735 plate appearances. Just three hitters managed a worse fWAR than Santana’s minus-2.3 during that span.

    Thanks to his years-long stretch of posting subpar numbers, Santana had to settle for a minor league contract with the Rangers in December 2018. The signing has worked out swimmingly for both sides so far. The switch-hitting Santana wound up totaling 511 PA of .283/.324/.534 of offense at the big league level last season. He was one of seemingly countless MLB players to power up during a home run-happy season, bashing 28 HRs en route to a 20-20 year (he also had 21 stolen bases) and 1.9 fWAR. However, it was alarming that Santana struck out in just about 30 percent of trips to the plate while walking a little under 5 percent of the time.

    While skepticism may be warranted in regards to Santana’s 2019 offensive outburst, he should at least continue to give the Rangers a versatile, affordable performer. He saw quite a bit of action at every infield position and all outfield spots last season, and remains someone Texas expects to lean heavily on heading into 2020. Santana’s due to make $3.6MM this year – his second-last season of arbitration eligibility.

    Santana’s change in representation will be reflected in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains agent info on thousands of Major League and Minor League players. If you see any errors or omissions within, please let us know: mlbtrdatabase@gmail.com.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Camp Battles: Rangers’ First Base Situation]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190503 2020-02-15T07:11:14Z 2020-02-15T07:11:14Z After a run as a well-regarded prospect, Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzman made his major league debut in 2018. Since then, though, few teams have gotten less from the position. Guzman’s defense has drawn praise, but that only goes so far when you struggle to hit at an offensively charged position. He’s coming off a two-year stretch in which he slashed a less-than-stellar .229/.307/.415 with 25 home runs in 723 plate appearances. Guzman accounted for just 0.1 fWAR along the way, and his lack of production even led the Rangers to option him to Triple-A Nashville last season.

    In the wake of Guzman’s weak 2019, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see the Rangers make an improvement at first base in the offseason. Even for modest prices, there were apparent free-agent upgrades available (Eric Thames and Justin Smoak come to mind). The Rangers even considered signing pricey outfielder Nick Castellanos and putting him at first, but he wound up with the Reds.

    Having struck out on Castellanos, the Rangers have just about stood pat at first in recent months. Therefore, Guzman’s the front-runner to start again in 2020. He does have an option remaining, however, so the Rangers could send him back to the minors and still retain him if he doesn’t win the job in camp.

    Cognizant of the fact that he may be in a make-or-break situation, the 25-year-old Guzman worked hard to better himself during the winter. He sought help from one of the game’s best offensive players in recent memory, former Ranger and current Twin Nelson Cruz, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explained earlier this week.

    On the heels of his work with Cruz, both Guzman and the Rangers seem optimistic he’ll finally begin realizing his potential in 2020. If that doesn’t happen, though, there are other in-house first base choices to whom they could turn. Granted, there may not be a clear answer on the roster at all.

    The Rangers brought in former Yankees first baseman Greg Bird on a minor league contract Feb. 4. As a prospect and then as a rookie in 2015, when he batted .261/.343/.529 with 11 homers in 178 plate appearances, Bird looked like a possible long-term answer at first for the Yankees. But a series of injuries – including to his foot, shoulder, ankle and knee – helped take a sledgehammer to his Yankees career. Bird missed all of 2016 and was unproductive from 2017-19, appearing in a paltry 10 games in the last of those seasons. The Yankees let the 27-year-old Bird go a few months ago, and he now has to prove himself all over again.

    The Rangers also took a low-risk flier on former Red Sox first baseman Sam Travis over the winter. Like Guzman and Bird, Travis was once a quality prospect. Now 26, Travis wasn’t especially impressive at the Triple-A or major league levels from 2017-19. Consequently, the Red Sox – despite needing a first baseman at the time – moved on from Travis a month ago.

    If you’re not inspired by Guzman, Bird or Travis, it’s hard to blame you. Problem is that the Rangers aren’t teeming with obvious solutions otherwise. In theory, veteran third baseman Todd Frazier could man the position, but that seems improbable unless the club puts Nick Solak or Danny Santana at the hot corner or does the unlikely and acquires the Cubs’ Kris Bryant or the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado in a blockbuster preseason trade. Should no trade occur, Solak or Santana may see some time at first, but the Rangers might prefer to move the versatile duo around the diamond.

    Considering their current options, it looks as if it’ll be another bleak year at first base for the Rangers. The club has made real improvements elsewhere, particularly to its starting staff, but it doesn’t appear that’ll happen at first before the season opens. The spot’s devoid of impact players in free agency, so it would take an unexpected trade in order to find a slam-dunk upgrade now.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers Had Interest In Dyson, Hamilton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190369 2020-02-14T02:28:17Z 2020-02-14T02:28:17Z The Rangers talked with Jarrod Dyson and Billy Hamilton before the two veteran outfielders respectively signed with the Pirates and Giants, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes.  The Rangers didn’t have any talks with Kevin Pillar prior to Pillar’s agreement with the Red Sox.  Center field is still something of a question area for Texas heading into the 2020 season, as utilityman Danny Santana is slated to handle the position, but with Scott Heineman, Joey Gallo, and perhaps Nick Solak on hand to share in some of the center field duties.

    Additional help may not be imminent, as GM Jon Daniels told Wilson and other reporters “there’s nothing that is front-burner right now that I’m expecting to come to a head this spring.  There will be a lot of conversations, I’m sure.”  This doesn’t close the door on a new acquisition, of course, even if that new player may be more of a part-timer than a star (such as Kris Bryant, who has also been widely linked to the Rangers on the rumor mill.)  The versatile Santana is the answer in center field for the time being, though “we have to decide how we’re going to go about it,” Daniels said.  “I think Danny comes in with the expectation he’ll get the bulk of the playing time out there, but we also like him in that versatile role.  There’s a little bit of give there.  We have to make a call.”

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Cubs, Kris Bryant]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190137 2020-02-14T00:47:49Z 2020-02-14T00:47:55Z TODAY: Casting further cold water on the Bryant/Arenado rumors, a source tells Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that this speculation could be “media noise” from the Cubs themselves, trying to spur on better offers from other teams (i.e. the Phillies, Nationals, Braves) that could have interest in Bryant.

    FEBRUARY 12: When Major League Basbeall’s offseason started, the Cubs looked like one of the sport’s most intriguing teams. After collapsing last season and finishing with 84 wins, there was an expectation the Cubs’ roster would undergo a drastic makeover. That hasn’t happened at all, though, and the Cubs have largely been quiet this winter. They’ve made no earth-shattering acquisitions (apologies to Steven Souza Jr., Jason Kipnis and Jeremy Jeffress) or roster-altering trades, though they have lost a few notable players – including Nicholas Castellanos and Cole Hamels – since the winter began.

    President of baseball operations Theo Epstein addressed the Cubs’ offseason Tuesday, saying (via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com), “I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been as much turnover as we expected.” Epstein noted, though, that the Cubs aren’t going to make changes for the sake of it, and he still has high expectations for the team as it’s currently constructed.

    Chicago does indeed have quite a bit of talent still on hand, and third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant may be atop the list. The former NL MVP continues to be the subject of trade rumors, however, and dealing him and his $18.6MM salary would enable the Cubs’ maligned ownership to get under the $208MM luxury-tax threshold in 2020. As things stand, the Cubs are projected for a tax payroll just south of $214MM, per Jason Martinez of Roster Resource and FanGraphs.

    If the Cubs are more worried about competing than ducking the tax, the 28-year-old Bryant could remain an important cog in helping them rebound in 2020. However, multiple teams have shown interest in acquiring him. The Rangers, Rockies, Nationals and Phillies have discussed Bryant with the Cubs recently, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.

    Aside from the Rockies, who have the disgruntled Nolan Arenado at third base, those teams could use upgrades at the hot corner. There has been talk of an Arenado-Bryant swap, but that has always seemed far-fetched, and there aren’t indications that Bryant will wind up with anyone else imminently. The Cubs could instead choose to keep Bryant, attempt to push for a playoff spot this season and see where they stand around the July trade deadline. Considering that Epstein still believes in the talent the club still has, Chicago may well go that way.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Sign Taylor Jungmann]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190132 2020-02-12T05:53:39Z 2020-02-12T05:53:39Z
  • The Rangers announced the signing of right-hander Taylor Jungmann to a minor league contract on Tuesday. The agreement does not include an invitation to major league spring training. Now 30 years old, Jungmann was a first-round pick (No. 12) of the Brewers in 2011, though he only produced middling results with the club from 2015-17. During that 146 2/3-inning span, the Texas native posted a 4.54 ERA/4.32 FIP with 7.73 K/9, 3.99 BB/9 and a 46.1 percent groundball rate. Jungmann left the organization before the 2018 campaign to pursue a job in Japan, where he pitched for the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball during the previous two seasons. Jungmann recorded a 4.86 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 70 1/3 frames as a member of the Giants.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Sign Cody Allen]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189681 2020-02-07T23:48:43Z 2020-02-07T22:04:51Z The Rangers have announced a minor-league deal with righty Cody Allen. He’ll receive an invitation to participate in MLB Spring Training.

    Southpaw Brandon Mann is also joining the Texas organization. His own minors deal won’t come with a spring invite.

    Allen is a classic bounceback candidate. The 31-year-old was a high-quality reliever for years until he ran into a tough 2018 season and then collapsed in the following season.

    Last year, Allen’s entire approach was shaken as he lost velocity and suffered a dive in his swinging-strike rate. His walk rate shot up while opposing hitters ran up a 54.5% hard contact rate and 94.3 mph average exit velocity.

    Allen does still possess elite fastball spin, so there’s something to build off of. Perhaps a lengthy respite and some tweaking will help him get back on track.

    As for Mann, 35, he made a stunning (but brief) late-career MLB debut with the Rangers in 2018. He worked for Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines last year, turning in 59 1/3 innings of 4.70 ERA pitching with 10.3 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers Linked To OF Prospect In 2020-21 Int'l Class]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189575 2020-02-07T01:01:06Z 2020-02-07T00:51:59Z
  • Some of the top outfield prospects in the 2020-21 international draft class are profiled by Baseball America’s Ben Badler, who also details which teams are expected to sign these players on July 2.  The Reds, Pirates, Red Sox, and Rangers are all thought to have seven-figure bonuses lined up for four players from the Dominican Republic, though the Astros are reportedly ready to pay what may be the biggest bonus given to any player in the 2020-21 class — a deal in the neighborhood of $4MM to 21-year-old Cuban outfielder Pedro Leon.  Because of his age, Leon is already eligible to sign, though he will wait until the opening of the next July 2 window because most teams have exhausted most or all of their funds from their 2019-20 international signing pools.  The int’l market will take on added importance for the Astros over the next two years, as the club’s pipeline of top young talent will be limited after losing their top two picks in both the 2020 and 2021 amateur drafts as part of their punishment for the sign-stealing scandal.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Sign Greg Bird To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189282 2020-02-04T22:10:25Z 2020-02-04T22:10:36Z 4:10pm: Texas has announced the deal.

    2:26pm: The Rangers have agreed to a minor league contract with free-agent first baseman Greg Bird, per George A. King III of the New York Post (Twitter link). He’ll be in Major League camp as a non-roster invitee this spring.

    Now 27 years old, Bird once looked to be a possible long-term answer for the Yankees at first base. His debut in 2015 produced a .261/.343/.529 slash and 11 homers in 178 plate appearances for the then-22-year-old, but his career has been ravaged by injuries since that time. Since that scintillating debut, Bird has suffered a torn labrum, undergone ankle surgery and missed significant time due to a tear in his plantar fascia. As a result, over the past four seasons, he’s been limited to a .194/.287/.388 slash in just 522 plate appearances.

    That said, the Rangers’ own first base situation is hardly inspiring. They have a former top prospect of their own, Ronald Guzman, who has yet to deliver on his own potential. Joey Gallo has experience at the position but is being entrusted with outfield duties for the foreseeable future. Non-roster players like Sam Travis and Matt Duffy could also factor into the mix, as could infielder/outfielder Danny Santana, depending on what (if any) additional outfield moves the Rangers make between now and Opening Day.

    Despite his lack of time on the field, Bird has racked up more than four years of Major League service time — much of it coming on the injured list. If he’s able to crack the Rangers’ roster and prove to be a serviceable option in 2020, he’d remain controllable through the 2021 season as an arbitration-eligible player.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers Sign Derek Law To Minors Contract]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=188858 2020-01-30T21:29:07Z 2020-01-30T21:08:06Z The Rangers have signed right-hander Derek Law to a minor league deal, as per a team press release.  Law will receive an invitation to the team’s Major League Spring Training camp.

    The Blue Jays non-tendered Law in December rather than go through the arbitration process with the 29-year-old.  MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projected Law to receive a $1.3MM arbitration salary in 2020, coming on a heels of a 2019 campaign that saw Law post a 4.90 ERA, 9.9 K/9, and 1.68 K/BB rate over 60 2/3 innings for Toronto.  It marked Law’s heaviest workload since his 2016 rookie season, though he has been an inconsistent performer since that breakout campaign, with a 5.25 ERA and 1.2 HR/9 over 111 1/3 innings since the start of the 2017 season.

    On the plus side for Law is a solid 94.7mph fastball and his 50% grounder rate last season, his highest since that 2016 rookie year.  There isn’t much risk for Texas in seeing what Law can do in camp as the Rangers continue to amass more bullpen depth.  Law joins Luis Garcia, Nick Goody, Juan Nicasio, Joely Rodriguez, Brian Flynn, and Jimmy Herget as experienced relief options who will be battling for jobs on the Opening Day roster.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers To Sign Matt Duffy]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=188783 2020-01-30T15:02:06Z 2020-01-30T14:39:53Z The Rangers have reached a deal with infielder Matt Duffy, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports (via Twitter). It’s a minors pact with a $1MM salary if Duffy cracks the MLB roster. He can also earn up to $1.5MM in incentives.

    Duffy, the 2015 Rookie of the Year runner-up in the National League, only just turned 29 years of age. He was an above-average offensive performer as recently as 2018. And Duffy is a versatile defender who could help fill out the infield mix in Texas.

    Trouble is, Duffy has had a tough time staying on the field and consistently producing at the plate. He missed all of 2017 and made it into just 46 games with the Rays last year. Duffy wasn’t effective when he did play in 2019, turning in a .252/.343/.327 batting line. He also hasn’t graded as well in the field as he once did in San Francisco.

    It’s an easy risk for the Rangers to take, particularly after the team missed on its top infield targets. Duffy could see action as part of the mix at third base and/or supplement the OBP-challenged Rougned Odor at second. At times, Duffy has shown just enough pop and plenty of glove while reaching base at a strong clip. If he can rediscover some of that mix and stay on the field, he could be a bargain for the Texas org.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Jon Daniels Discusses Rangers’ Remaining Offseason Needs]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=188296 2020-01-26T01:29:06Z 2020-01-26T01:29:06Z Speaking at the Rangers’ “Peek At The Park” fan event on Saturday, GM Jon Daniels gave MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan and other reporters a seeming hint about the club’s offseason direction, stating “I would think that if we do make any significant acquisition, a trade is more likely than a free agent….just the discussions we’ve had make me feel that way.”

    Daniels’ comment would seem to diminish the chances of a deal between Texas and Nicholas Castellanos, the top free agent left on the board and a player who has already emerged as a Rangers target.  As MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently detailed, a few teams are speculative fit for Castellanos at this point in the offseason, though all of these clubs seem to have at least one significant obstacle — a crowded outfield, lack of payroll space, etc. — standing in a way of a signing.

    Texas arguably has the least-daunting of these positional obstacles, as Castellanos could be installed at first base or in right field, thus relegating either Ronald Guzman or Danny Santana to part-time duty (and Joey Gallo into a primary center field role).  It’s possible, therefore, that money could be the holdup in talks.  MLBTR projected Castellanos for a four-year, $58MM deal at the beginning of the offseason, though it could be that the Rangers or other teams aren’t willing to meet such a significant multi-year price given the narrowed market for Castellanos’ services.  Marcell Ozuna, often considered Castellanos’ closest peer amongst free agent corner outfielders, recently had to settle for a one-year/$18MM pact with the Braves, though Ozuna was also impacted by draft pick compensation via the qualifying offer.

    If a big free agent signing isn’t happening, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Rangers are set to make a splashy trade for the likes of a Nolan Arenado.  While Texas has been linked to the Rockies third baseman on the rumor mill, Daniels called it “unlikely” that a deal would be worked out.  Rockies GM Jeff Bridich seemingly put the Arenado rumors to rest earlier this week, only for speculation to re-escalate once Arenado went public with what he felt was “disrespectful” treatment from Bridich in particular and the Colorado organization as a whole.

    Offense continues to be the Rangers’ primary target, with Daniels saying that he has had talks with almost every team in baseball about potential lineup acquisitions.  Pitching is a lesser concern, as Daniels said that is more apt to add relievers on minor league deals than on multi-year Major League contracts.  This might not bode well for the Rangers’ chances of signing Pedro Strop, though Strop wouldn’t necessarily require a multi-year deal.

    Texas could also add veteran starters on minor league deals, though Daniels is pretty satisfied with his team’s in-house options, saying “I’d rather go to Kolby Allard than most of the guys who are available to us.”  Daniels revealed that the Rangers had interest in signing Jerad Eickhoff before the righty inked a minor league pact with the Padres earlier this month.  Eickhoff is a known quantity to Daniels, as the Rangers made Eickhoff a 15th-round draft pick in 2011 before sending him to the Phillies as part of the trade package for Cole Hamels in July 2015.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mike Minor Interested In Discussing Extension With Rangers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=188231 2020-01-26T01:25:19Z 2020-01-26T01:25:21Z JANUARY 25: The Rangers have interest in keeping Minor but haven’t yet begun contract talks with either the left-hander or any other players, GM Jon Daniels told Sullivan and other reporters.  “We haven’t had any extension discussions at this point. That’s more a February or March topic conversation with some guys we may hit on,” Daniels said.

    JANUARY 24: Southpaw Mike Minor has already more than made good on his side of the three-year bargain he struck with the Rangers. With one more season left on that deal, he’s interested in working out a new pact to stay for more.

    As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) and MLB.com’s TR Sullivan (Twitter link) report, Minor says he would like to hold discussions with the Texas organizations. It doesn’t seem that deep talks (if any) have been held to date, but spring camp is generally prime time for internal dealmaking.

    Minor has thus far rewarded the Rangers’ faith. After bouncing back from a two-year layoff in a strong 2017 season with the Royals, he secured a surprising three-year, $28MM deal — a contractual model the Texas club has now followed in two more offseasons. The 32-year-old has handily outperformed that earning level, contributing 365 1/3 innings of 3.84 ERA ball with 8.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.

    Unfortunately, the Rangers have mostly struggled despite Minor’s contributions. But that isn’t a drawback so much as a motivating factor for the lefty.

    “For sure,” Minor said when asked about his interest in sticking around. “I feel like I’ve endured the worst part of it. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to be a part of it. I don’t want to jump ship now when it’s going to be good.”

    It’ll certainly be interesting to see how talks proceed. The Rangers have spurned trade interest in Minor even through the losing campaigns, presumably holding out hope he’d be a part of the team’s desired 2020 resurgence. There’s little question they value the veteran quite highly.

    Still, it stands to reason the team will be wary of committing too much money over too long a term. There are quite a few positives and demerits in Minor’s profile.

    For one thing, there’s Minor’s worrisome history of shoulder ailments to consider. But it’s hard to deny he has turned the page after two full seasons. Age is an obvious factor, but Minor is throwing harder than he did in his youth and produces as much spin on his fastball as any pitcher in the game. He’s not a dominating strikeout pitcher by any means but Statcast readings make clear he’s quite proficient at avoiding hard contact.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Free Agent Spending By Team: American League]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=188213 2020-01-25T01:22:17Z 2020-01-25T01:08:49Z As we covered earlier this week, almost all of the prominent free agents in this year’s class have already exited the board. Because of that, we’ll see more and more minor league signings and fewer and fewer major league deals in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season. This has been an aggressive offseason in terms of spending, though. To this point, which teams have handed out the most guaranteed money via the open market? We’ll examine both leagues, but let’s begin with the AL (reminder: This exercise excludes trades, club options, extensions, waiver claims and Rule 5 selections)…

    Yankees: $336.5MM on two players (Gerrit Cole and Brett Gardner; top 50 MLBTR signings: two)

    Angels: $260.85MM on three players (Anthony Rendon, Julio Teheran and Jason Castro; top 50 signings: three)

    White Sox: $196.5MM on six players (Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu, Dallas Keuchel, Edwin Encarnacion, Steve Cishek and Gio Gonzalez; top 50 signings: five)

    Twins: $151.8MM on eight players (Josh Donaldson, Michael Pineda, Jake Odorizzi, Homer Bailey, Sergio Romo, Alex Avila, Rich Hill and Tyler Clippard; top 50 signings: four)

    Blue Jays: $114.35MM on four players (Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Shun Yamaguchi and Travis Shaw; top 50 signings: two)

    Rangers: $62.25MM on five players (Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles, Robinson Chirinos, Joely Rodriguez and Todd Frazier; top 50 signings: two)

    Tigers: $17.8MM on four players (C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Austin Romine and Ivan Nova; top 50 signings: one)

    Astros: $15.65MM on three players (Joe Smith, Martin Maldonado and Dustin Garneau; top 50 signings: zero)

    Rays: $12MM on one player (Yoshitomo Tsutsugo; top 50 signings: zero)

    Red Sox: $9.9MM on three players (Martin Perez, Jose Peraza and Kevin Plawecki; top 50 signings: zero)

    Athletics: $7.5MM on one player (Jake Diekman; top 50 signings: zero)

    Royals: $6.95MM on two players (Alex Gordon and Maikel Franco; top 50 signings: zero)

    Indians: $6.25MM on one player (Cesar Hernandez; top 50 signings: zero)

    Orioles: $3MM on one player (Jose Iglesias; top 50 signings: zero)

    Mariners: $2.95MM on two players (Kendall Graveman and Carl Edwards Jr.; top 50 signings: zero)

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