Feb 132012


Monday Morning Fastballs

  • The Rangers agreed to a one year deal with Mike Napoli over the weekend.  The contract will pay the slugging catcher $9.4M for the 2012 season, after which Napoli will be a free agent.  While the agreement is nice in that it helps the Rangers and Napoli avoid an arbitration hearing, we were hoping the Rangers would lock Nap up long-term (3-4 years with options).  If you ever missed our case for extending Napoli beyond 2012, click here.
  • Looks like Josh Hamilton contract extension talks are still on hold.  Jon Daniels had this to say yesterday, “The contract is not really the priority with Josh right now — his health and family are.  We’re not going to preempt that for anything about a contract. Given how close we are, I don’t anticipate that happening before spring training. We all agreed to table things before we got to spring training.”
    The relapse has really put a damper on getting Josh locked up beyond 2012.  Similar to Nap, Hamilton will hit the free agent market next off-season barring a new contract between now and then.  While many feel that DFW is Josh’s home, the open market can often convince players otherwise.  Potential suitors will make every attempt to cater to Josh’s needs, both financially with his on-the-field performance and socially/spiritually/emotionally with his off-the-fields needs.
  • Jon Daniels also commented on the Rangers putting their wallets away over the weekend.  When asked if the Rangers were finished with their off-season spending, JD said “More than likely, yes.  I never want to shut the door and there’s always ways to be creative and things of that nature.   We can sign non-roster guys. But handicapping anything else as we sit here, there’s nothing imminent.”
    When asked about free-agents Roy Oswalt and Mike Gonzalez, JD said “Nothing has changed on either front.  There’s a level of interest in the players, but as far as a fit on the team and payroll-wise, it’s not as easy as otherwise.”
  • While I think Oswalt is not going to happen, which we are good with (see here), I think there is still a chance that Gonzalez ends up with the Rangers if they can move Koji Uehara via trade, freeing up his 2012 salary ($4M).
  • Jonathon Mayo (MLB.com) has published his Rangers Top 20 Prospects list.  Top 5:
  1. Jurickson Profar
  2. Martin Perez
  3. Mike Olt
  4. Leonys Martin
  5. Robbie Ross
  • Vegas road trip?  Tickets on sale today…
  • If you missed, more Dutch Oven genius below…

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