Monday newsletter time: Rangers faced with decisions in first big week of MLB offseason
(AP photo/John Locher)
General manager Chris Young carved out some time Friday to preview the GM meetings this week in Las Vegas, where very little is expected to happen.
Young and others from the front office are heading out today, and the meetings will run Tuesday through Thursday.
Teams can speak to player agents about free agents but can’t negotiate with them, as that window doesn’t open until Thursday. Clubs can, however, start laying the groundwork for trades.
Thursday is a big day. Teams must decide if they will make qualifying offers to their free agents, teams must decide if they will exercise player options, and players with opt-out clauses in their contracts must decide yea or nay.
The Rangers have a decision to make on the qualifying offer with left-hander Martin Perez and a $6 million team option on right-hander Jose Leclerc.
Right-hander Jacob deGrom is expected to option out of his Mets deal. Righty Justin Verlander might opt out of his Astros deal. Lefty Carlos Rodon has already opted out of his Giants deal.
Rodon is high on the Rangers’ list of free-agent targets. He’s going to be high on a lot of teams’ lists.
It’s a big week in baseball, the door to which was opened Saturday night after the Astros clinched the World Series in six games. The biggest news, though, will likely come when the GMs are leaving Las Vegas.
Room for Moore?
Young said that the Rangers are not going to be hiring a GM this offseason and, presumably, are not promoting him to president of baseball operations.
That is relevant after word spread last week that the Rangers were talking to former Royals president Dayton Moore about joining the club. Moore was the GM in Kansas City when Young won the 2015 World Series there.
Young didn’t rule out a working with Moore in the future, whether that means beginning in a few weeks as an assitant GM or in future seasons a front-office role.
The Rangers aren’t short on assistant GMs or special assistants to the GM, but Young is short on his own guys in those roles. Former San Diego teammate Nick Hundley was hired last offseason and has become a trusted voice for Young. Hundley also had a player-manager relationship with Bruce Bochy and was part of the group who helped convince Bochy to become the new Rangers manager.
The end of the World Series on Saturday night officially started the MLB offseason. The Hot Stove League, a name I’m not particularly fond of, is upon us. Some things are in motion, and the Rangers have a plan of attack after their pro scouting meetings. Rangers Today has been there just about every day of the offseason. The news picked up again last week. Here’s our latest content, in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Risk management
Friday on the Farm: Aaron Zavala has surgery
Rangers notes: Mike Maddux a candidate
Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Player development chief Ross Fenstermaker
Bringing the happiness to a Monday. Enjoy.
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Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org