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Tuesday newsletter time: Good news for Rangers as Justin Verlander leaves Houston

(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)


SAN DIEGO — Day 1 of the winter meetings opened with a bang Monday as Justin Verlander took the Mets’ free-agent dollars and left the Astros.

Verlander signed a two-year, $86.6 million deal. Not bad for a 40-year-old. Of course, he won the American League Cy Young award last month, so he’s doing just fine with the whole age thing.

The Mets were in the market for an ace after the Rangers snatched away Jacob deGrom on Friday for five years and $185 million.

The signing isn’t so much about what it does for the Mets, at least as far as the Rangers are concerned, but what it does the Astros.

Houston has a wildly deep rotation, so it’s not like the Astros are suddenly going to stink. But it is going to bring them back to the pack some in the AL West. It’s not easy to replace a pitcher like Verlander.

For those wondering, Verlander is 20-8 with a 2.64 ERA in 34 career starts against the Rangers and went 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA against them this year.

Maybe the Verlander signing will end the vitriol directed at deGrom by the New York media. Don’t take it personally, gang. You’d do the same thing if someone backed up the Brinks truck to your house.

Also signing Monday was free-agent shortstop Trea Turner, for 11 years and $300 million with the Phillies. He will debut with his new team March 31 at Globe Life Field as the Rangers open the 2023 campaign against Philadelphia.

MLB to help Uvalde

The Rangers and the Astros have teamed up for a wonderful cause, and anybody can help.

The two Texas MLB teams are leading the charge on establishing a new Boys & Girls Club in Uvalde after the mass shooting earlier this year at Robb Elementary School. All 30 MLB teams are participating as well as affiliated minor-league clubs.

The vehicle is the 2022 Winter Meetings Charity Auction.

Rangers executive vice president and Hall of Famer John Blake said that the Astros and Rangers started working together to help generate support for Uvalde shortly after the May 24 tragedy.

“The mass shooting in Uvalde was an unspeakable tragedy, not just for the state of Texas but for the entire world,” Blake said. “This Boys & Girls Club will help them heal. The little part that we can do, the Rangers Foundation has given time, they’ve given money, but this is something that the entire baseball community can do.”

To help, click here for a list of auction items.



Shin-Soo Choo isn’t done yet.

The former Rangers All-Star (2018, for those who forgot) has re-signed with SSG Landers of the Korea Baseball Organization for $1.7 billion … won. That’s $1.32 million in good ol’ U.S. currency.

Still a team player (and cash flush after his $130 million contract with the Rangers), Choo took a pay cut to help Landers stay under the KBO salary cap. Landers won the KBO championship this year.

Choo, who still lives in Tarrant County, had a productive season in which he posted a .259/.382/.430 slash line with 16 homers, 20 doubles  and 15 stolen bases over 409 at-bats.

He will turn 41 on July 13.


Doggy video!

More fun than covering the winter meetings. 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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