Blog Entry

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:11 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 10:48 am

The Texas Rangers, the two-time defending American League champions, are at the center of the action this week, with the Yu Darvish deadline looming Wednesday and the continuing Prince Fielder intrigue, which began to boil over when Fielder was discovered to be meeting with top Texas brass in Dallas last Friday -- not to mention a couple other smaller talks ongoing thrown in for good measure.

The great likelihood is that the Darvish deal gets done for slightly more than "Dice-K money,'' say people familiar with the talks who are referring to the $52-million, six-year contract Daisuke Matsuzaka signed with the Boston Red Sox. That's logical because while Darvish is considered the better pitcher (18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and a Pacific League-leading 276 strikeouts in 2011), the posting fee of $51,703,411 for him was just barely above the $51,111,111 fee the Red Sox paid for Matsuzaka, and Darvish's agent Arn Tellem has no other alternative but to take him back to Japan, in what is seen as a generally unpalatable alternative for star Japanese stars who go to the trouble of posting.

While there was still said to be a difference on the years, with Darvish wanting five so he could become a free agent at 30, and Texas wanting to repeat Matsuzaka's six-year contract, everyone surrounding the negotiation suggested the deal is likely to get done before the deadline Wednesday if the range of $55 million. (side note: Boston's first offer to Matsuzaka had been half that, $28 million.)

If the Darvish deal does somehow fall through (unlikely), the Rangers would suddenly become the overwhelming favorite to land Fielder. But the bigger question is whether the Rangers would be willing to pay the freight for Fielder if more than $100 million is committed to Darvish.

Rangers people have consistently characterized that possibility of a Texas superstar two-step as "unlikely,'' and a $300-million week would indeed be extraordinary for a team that isn't in New York, Boston, Philadelphia or Los Angeles (or even Los Angeles of Anaheim). However, Texas, a team that recently had been receiving luxury tax payouts, is committed to winning and on the rise financially with its rapdily increasing TV and attendance revenues and relatively new oil baron owners.

Rangers people also are full of surprises, like last winter when they stole Adrian Beltre late, after the rival Angels and A's had bid earlier. This time, Texas may have even more incentive to make a big play, what with the Angels earlier having their own $317.5-million week between their pricey new imports Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the former Ranger.

Rangers people like to keep things secret, and their clandestine meeting last week with Fielder at the Four Seasons in Dallas only leaked because the wedding of Pirates star reliever Joel Hanrahan (yet another star player the Rangers have tried for this winter) happened to be at the same hotel at the same time, so the players and agents at the wedding started telling people they had seen Fielder and/or agent Scott Boras with Rangers brass Nolan Ryan, Texas' icon and managing partner, and GM Jon Daniels. Rangers people also knows it doesn't do anything positive for the psyche of incumbent first baseman Mitch Moreland or even incumbent positional superstar Josh Hamilton if Fielder speculation keeps mushrooming.

It's possible Ryan and Daniels were just covering their bases on the off chance Darvish doesn't get done. But the Rangers do seem to love the idea of signing Fielder, which while prohibitive could make sense if they allow Hamilton to leave as a free agent after this season. Hamilton has been a tremendous asset since Daniels acquired him in a deal for Edinson Volquez and a minor-league pitcher after Reds medical people forced the deal, but Fielder is younger, less injury prone and generally a safer bet (Hamilton's father-in-law Michael Dean just bowed out as his accountability partner).

Beyond the simultaneous dances with the two huge stars, the Rangers are looking to add a lefty reliever and bench player, and have considered Mike Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs. But of course, the first thing to do is figure out whether they will add one superstar or two.

Category: MLB

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:08 pm

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

All I keep thinking about is Alex Rodriguez and how bad that turned out for Texas

Since: Aug 12, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:08 pm

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

I don't see it as keeping pace with the Angels.  The Rangers lost CJ this offseason and Darvish is the replacement.  The Rangers could have signed CJ for the money that will ultimately go to Darvish and the posting fee but think that Darvish is better.  We will have to wait and see on this.  I think (hope) that they are being proactive on re-signing or replacing their core group that have their contracts up next year and the year after.  Fielder is a safer bet than Hamilton assuming the money/years are right.  As far as chemistry, CJ was a unique individual.  Not a team chemistry guy.  Hamilton is interesting because the team often has to do things to avoid putting him in tempting positions.  Notice the Ginger Ale showers after our playoff series wins.  The team does seem to rally around him and chemistry could be a concern here if he leaves.  The bigger issue will be Young.  I think he controls the club house but there is no way the Rangers resign him unless he's willing to take a lesser role and a lot less money.  Despite public perception...he has a big ego and I think JD would be happy to be rid of him.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:02 pm

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

Darvish will sign and I doubt that The Rangers will pony up the extra dough for Fielder unless he takes a reduced contract and years to go to the Rangers.  If they sign Fielder they are pretty much saying they won't be signing Hamilton, and that wont go over well.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:44 pm

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

Its funny to watch these Rangers almost "scrambling"  to :keep pace" with the Angels this offseaon... they do realize they went to the wordl series 2 times in a row right???  This is not a team you need to overload with talent... sometimes messing with chemistry can backfire (See Boston Redsox, Yankees) 

Since: Apr 28, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:40 pm

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

Texas has been a sleeping giant for years.  The money is finally starting to flow there.  They have a new TV deal coming in 2015, but they will get more until that deal comes into effect.  Nolan Ryan probably has some money that he wants to spend.  They probably won't spend as much as the Yankees, but they could spend enough to attract free agents for many years to come.

Since: Aug 12, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:35 pm

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

My problem with Fielder being the fall-back to not signing Darvish is Boras.  He immediately will smell blood and hold out for as much as he can.  I'm starting to buy the sign Darvish and Fielder and let Hamilton walk theory.  The Rangers have been trying to re-up Hamilton and are getting no where.  Hamilton has stated that he wants his money and he just plays too hard to stay on the field for 162 games.  And you just never know (see Phoenix bar incident in 2011).  Fan favorite here but this is a business.  With the Rangers already saying that he will have another "Accountability Partner" you can tell that they just don't trust the situation.  Some talk about Oswalt coming here if Darvish doesn't sign but that has to be a Plan B (and a bad one).  I just don't trust his back.  I thought there were reports last year that he was done...not a matter of if but when.  Should be an interesting couple of days and my money is on Darvish AND Fielder.  (Then package an extra starter with Moreland for a centerfielder.)

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:33 pm

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

wouldnt mlb be unbelievable if hall of fame guys who no nothing but winning could keep taking over their old teams?  ryan in texas, ripken in baltimore, yount in milwaukee, any of the big red machine in cincinnati, brett in kansas city...

they would and have figured out how to make teams into winners.

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:11 pm

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

Dear Santa (aka Nolan Ryan) and his little helper (aka Jon Daniels) please buy Darvish AND Fielder. We'll win the WS if you do. Thanks! Scott G. W-Robins, GA

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:59 am

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

I was thinking the same thing. At least hit the spell check button.

Since: Oct 9, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:48 am

Rangers big week: 1 superstar or 2 coming?

Always they actually have editor's at CBS or are things simply thrown on-line for everyone to pick out the mistakes?

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