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Monday newsletter time: If Rangers still want a starting pitcher, a friend has an idea

(Rangers Today/Jeff Wilson)

 

 

SAN DIEGO — A staple at the baseball winter meetings each year are our Japanese friends in the media.

Anyone who has read the Rangers Today newsletter knows how much I admire them and enjoy talking to them.

Topping the list is Sam Onoda with NHK, and he was the first media member I spoke with Sunday after arriving at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. He seems to think the Rangers have a shot at right-hander Kodai Senga.

Senga reportedly wants to play for a team in a big market and for a team that has a chance to win right away. The Rangers check the big-market box and have plans for the second.

The signing of Jacob deGrom would seem to help that cause, and adding Senga to fill out the rotation would as well. DeGrom, Senga, Martin Perez, Jonathan Gray and Jake Odorizzi in some order would be pretty salty.

Of course, Japanese pitchers have struggled at times when transitioning to the major leagues. The ball is different in Nippon Professional Baseball, smaller with higher seams. Starters in Japan are in six-man rotations. MLB has five-man rotations.

There are 29 other teams to contend with in the majors as opposed to 11 others in Japan. The road trips cover more territory, and adapting to the U.S. culture is a real thing.

The consensus media guess is that it will take a four- or five-year contract worth $15 million a season to land Senga. The Rangers might not want to give a deal that long to a starter so that the prospects in the minors can fill a few rotation spots in coming seasons.

At this point, I’m not putting anything past the Rangers.

Little support for Palmeiro

Fred McGriff, who connected for 493 home runs in a 19-year career and won the 1995 World Series with the Braves, was a unanimous selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday in voting by the 16-person Contemporary Baseball Era Committee.

To be selected for enshrinement, a player needs to receive at least 12 votes. Rafael Palmeiro was in a group received four or fewer.

The former Rangers All-Star was one of eight players on the ballot, and it could be some time until he’s up for the ballot again. As T.R. Sullivan wrote last week, Palmeiro has the numbers but also has a positive steroids test on his Hall resume.

Misery enjoys company. Also joining him at 25 percent or worse were Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who never failed a test but who have been tied to performance-enhancing drugs.

Their sharp decline from their steady rise over 10 years on the writers’ ballot and indicates that the committee, made up of Hall of Fame players, veteran baseball executives and veteran sports writer aren’t too keen on the PED guys.

Maybe that will change over time, but it will have to be a long time. It’s not like anyone on the committee was voting from their death beds.

It appears as if there’s a better path for Palmeiro to end up in the Rangers Hall of Fame than the baseball Hall. The frosty relationship following his suspension, while with Baltimore, seems to be warming up.

It still needs some time on the stove, though.

ICYMI …

So, Friday night, I park my car and start walking to meet my family at a holiday carnival kind of thing when I get a text. I went and kissed my wife, hugged my kids and walked back to my car and left. The Rangers had created some work for me. Did you see it? If not, here’s the latest from Rangers Today (subscribe here for $5.99 a month or $60 a year) in case you missed it.

The Sunday Read: Winter meetings work to do

Jacob F. deGrom

Friday on the Farm: Trade bait

Armchair GM: Hitters edition

Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Links to Michael Young episode

Doggy video!

One-ply wouldn’t hold up for this. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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