Tuesday newsletter time: Chris Young says Rangers have the money, but …
(Rangers Today/Jeff Wilson)
NASHVILLE — One of the biggest nuggets dropped Monday at the winter meetings came courtesy of mlb.com reporter Kennedi Landry, who showed the group of Rangers writers a report that Shohei Ohtani is now following Logan Webb on Instagram.
Ohtani is the biggest free agent in the history of free agency, and where he plans to sign remains a mystery that has gripped/frozen baseball. Webb is the ace starting pitcher for the Giants and would hold that distinction for one more season if Ohtani were to sign with San Francisco.
Rangers Today’s longtime friend Sam Onoda, who covers Ohtani for the Japanese network NHK, said that Ohtani was spotted over the weekend in San Francisco. The Giants have reportedly made signing Ohtani or fellow Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto a top priority.
Connect the dots at your own peril.
Rangers general manager Chris Young did not comment on the reports that the Rangers are out of the bidding for Ohtani. Young did say that the Rangers have enough money to sign any free agent, “but as I’ve said before we measure the short term with the midterm and the long term in making sure we’re making prudent financial decisions.”
Reading between the tea leaves here: If the terms of an Ohtani contract surpasses, say, six years, the Rangers are probably out. Reports are that the Ohtani bidding has already surpassed $500 million, which would suggest contracts longer than six years.
He just needs to sign already, or this could be the slowest winter meetings in history.
Wash makes noise
Ron Washington, in his first day at the winter meetings as Angels manager, stirred up his new fan base by saying the following when asked about where things stand with Ohtani:
“I don’t have much to say about that yet because I don’t want to let anything out of the bag.”
It may or may not have been a coincidence that his media availability ended there.
The Angels are the incumbent but have never been considered the front-runner to keep Ohtani. They don’t even consider themselves to be the front-runner but are committed to trying anyway, perhaps in an effort to save face.
Washington, meanwhile, is still the same guy he was with the Rangers. He talks about doing whatever the game asks a player to do. He wants the Angels to be receptive to his brand of baseball, which has worked in the past. He’s not going to take anything away from what they do, but he wants to add layers to their abilities.
He said that he has spoken with Mike Trout, the Angels superstar who is under contract, and Anthony Rendon, the oft-injured curmudgeon whose seven-year contract in 2019 looks like a disaster after the first four seasons.
Former Rangers in the crowd
Many of the folks at the winter meetings are those lean, mean sportswriters, but even among them some former baseball players will stand out.
I thought I saw former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy. There were reports that free agents Eduardo Rodriguez and Whit Merrifield were here.
Then, the where the former Rangers.
I counted four, a group headed by closer Joe Nathan. The first I saw, though, was outfielder Julio Borbon, who lives in the area. Then, I saw infielder Brock Holt and catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Not included in the list is outfielder Will Venable, who is the Rangers’ assistant manager. We see him fairly regularly during the season.
Former president of baseball operations Jon Daniels is also at the meetings with the Rays, whose winter meetings war room is across the hallway from the Rangers’ headquarters.
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Me, keeping my ears open for Rangers news (and any reports of chips and salsa). Enjoy.
So cute 🥰 pic.twitter.com/XU30cTlGv2
— Puppies 🐶 (@PuppiesIover) December 2, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com