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Thursday newsletter time: 8 Rangers eligible as key arbitration day arrives

(AP photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

 

 

A baseball offseason is filled with deadlines, and more arrive today.

Teams and their players who are eligible for salary arbitration have until noon to avoid arbitration and then until 7 p.m. to exchange proposed one-year contract numbers. In many instances, both sides reach agreements ahead of the deadlines.

The Rangers have eight players who are arb-eligible, and they all figure to do pretty well. The group is headlined by Adolis Garcia in his first year and also includes catcher Jonah Heim, first baseman Nathaniel Lowe, center fielder Leody Taveras, left-hander Brock Burke and right-handers Dane Dunning, Josh Sborz and Jonathan Hernandez.

Lowe is eligible for the second year after reaching Super Two status in 2022 and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $8.8 million. Taveras is a Super Two player this year.

Garcia is projected by MLBTR to make $6.6 million in his first-year of arbitration. That’s pretty big number. Heim and Dunning could clear $3 million each.

(UPDATE: Dunning and the Rangers agreed at $3,325,000.)

As a reminder, the Rangers have not gone to an arbitration hearing since 2000, when they beat Lee Stevens. They rubbed it in by trading him a few weeks into the season.

The sides have until later in the month before arbitration hearings begin Jan. 29.

Relief candidates added

The Rangers announced that they signed three right-handed relievers to minor-league contracts with invitations to spring training, and all three might sound familiar to some baseball fans.

The most accomplished of the group is Shawn Greene, a 2019 All-Star as the Tigers’ closer before he was flipped to the Braves at the trade deadline. He was OK in 2020, bad in 2021 and has barely pitched in the majors the past two seasons.

Austin Pruitt has local ties, as he is from Plano. He pitched for the A’s last season, posting a 2.98 ERA before finishing the season on the injured list with a forearm strain. He debuted in 2017 with the Rays.

Jonathan Holder’s lone big-league time came with the Yankees over parts of five straight seasons beginning in 2016. He endured a shoulder injury after moving to the Cubs in 2021 that cost him parts of two seasons. He spent all of last season at Triple A Salt Lake in the Angels organization.

As a reminder, non-roster signees are extremely low-risk. All teams add them to build depth and maybe catch lightning in a bottle. In no way should fans think that these signings complete the Rangers’ offseason pursuit of relief help.

2024 theme nights

My wife, our son and her brother were talking Tuesday night about these kick-ass Rangers hats that will be given away in 2024. They were peppering me with questions.

I, the grizzled beat man entering my 17th season covering the team, had no idea what they were saying to me. But I recovered and found that, yes, the Rangers have announced their theme nights for 2024. All the information can be found here.

A special ticket is required for each night. One, the Stars-themed city connect jersey night, has already sold out. There’s a Cowboys, Mavs and FC Dallas theme night, a Whataburger hat night and the two True Brvnd hat nights that my family was discussing.

The Rangers are also featuring four special bobbleheads, two of them of third baseman Josh Jung.

Doggy video!

Those birds couldn’t handle this pup’s vibe. 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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1 Comment

  1. bflanigin@gmail.com January 11, 2024

    I hat to look up the True Brvnd upside down thing. I guess I’m not hip to the vibe there. But I do have my Rangers Beatles theme night hat and it’s a beauty.

    Reply

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