Monday newsletter time: Matt Moore remains unsigned as Rangers near spring training
(AP photo/David Zalubowski)
The Rangers added a left-hander to the bullpen Friday, but not the one who many would still like to see added.
Matt Moore, one of the team’s best relievers last year, remains a free agent. Bernardo Flores Jr., who pitched last year in Mexico, will be in big-league camp on a minor-league deal.
Flores, a former seventh-round pick from USC, is the 39th pitcher on the camp roster, which makes finding innings for them all a tall order for pitching coach Mike Maddux and manager Bruce Bochy.
They would find the innings for Moore, who came out of nowhere to pitch to a 1.95 ERA in 63 appearances/74 innings. The Rangers, though, have seen deals other free-agent left-handed relievers have landed (Taylor Rogers, three years, $33 million; Matt Strahm, two years, $15 million), and Moore might be seeking something similar.
He said early in the season that he has settled on being a reliever full time rather than attempting to recapture a starting role. As is the case with all pitchers, his stuff plays better in shorter stints and the Rangers helped him develop a more effective curveball.
Moore, 33 and with 10 years’ service time, would become the veteran of the bullpen (assuming Ian Kennedy doesn’t make the roster as a non-roster invitee) and would allow the Rangers to keep Brock Burke in a multi-inning role.
The good news is that relievers don’t need a full spring training to get ready for the regular season. If Moore remains unsigned, maybe he gets impatient and the Rangers can get him for what they want to pay.
Considering it’s early February, though, it seems like the Rangers aren’t expecting to re-sign him.
No picks for trade in MLB
Kyrie Irving, for better or worse, is headed to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs struck a trade Sunday for the terrific point guard, whose career has been clouded by off-the-court issues. They shipped away Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and three draft picks. The soonest of those is 2027.
It’s a blockbuster, to be sure, and the draft picks might have taken the Mavs’ package over the top.
Trading draft picks is allowed in the NFL, NBA and NHL, but not in baseball … for the most part. Competitive-balance picks after the first round can be traded, but that’s it.
Imagine if the Rangers could have included draft picks in a trade this offseason for Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds. Pittsburgh is still rebuilding and would probably love to have extra draft choices. Maybe the Rangers could have sent a draft pick for Ryan Dempster in 2012 instead of trading away Kyle Hendricks.
At one point not too long ago the Rangers were all for being able to trade picks. It seems like most other teams are as well.
The ability to do so might make for a spicier offseason.
The initial decision to prevent trading draft picks was to protect teams from mortgaging their futures at the expense of developing players into major-leaguers. Isn’t draft-pick compensation similar? The Astros of the early last 2000s and early 2010s would say so.
If that’s such a concern, put limits in place, like preventing teams from trading draft picks in more than two straight seasons. Maybe allow picks to be traded only during the draft, say if a team wanted to move up to get its player.
The point is, MLB teams should be able to do what the Mavs did Sunday.
Things are about to get even more busy at Rangers Today, highlighted by the return of T.R.’s Memoirs. T.R. Sullivan has had some time to think on Jon Daniels, and a multi-part story will kick off today. There will be some news today, in all likelihood, and then the build to spring training will continue. And good news on the email front: We’re no longer on probation! A judge somewhere showed leniency, so everyone should be getting the newsletters on time this week. Now, here’s our latest content in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Opening Day roster projection, 1.0
Friday on the Farm: Top prospects in the outfield
Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Mental performance coordinator Hannah Huesman
Don’t let Monday’s obstacles keep you down. Enjoy.
So smart.. 😂 pic.twitter.com/PvhUsDikpM
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) February 5, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org