Tuesday newsletter time: Rangers started spending again two years ago
(AP photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
A lockout was four days away. It was a Sunday afternoon when word first broke that the Rangers and free-agent second baseman Marcus Semien had agreed to a seven-year, $175 million deal. Within the hour, news broke that right-hander Jon Gray was in agreement on a four-year, $56 million deal.
And for good measure, outfielder Kole Calhoun bagged a one-year, $5 million deal.
The shopping spree that put the Rangers on their way to their first world championship started two years ago today.
In Semien, the Rangers had landed one of the five big free-agent middle infielders. There was no way they were going to land another, right?
Shortstop Corey Seager agreed the next day for 10 years and $325 million, and then it was a race to get them signed before the Dec. 1 lockout started.
Two years later, Seager and Semien finished second and third in the American League MVP vote, Seager was the World Series MVP and he, Semien and Gray were the heroes of Game 3 of the Fall Classic.
The Rangers kept spending last offseason, including a two-year, $34 million deal for Nathan Eovaldi in late December. The one-year anniversary of Jacob deGrom signing a five-year, $185 million deal is Saturday.
That’s the day before the baseball world swarms Nashville for the winter meetings in an offseason in which the Rangers are again expected to spend heavily.
Shohei Ohtani? Jordan Montgomery? Blake Snell? Yoshinobu Yamamoto? Josh Hader?
We could have some answers by next week.
Sonny Gray signs
The second significant offseason signing went down Monday as the Cardinals announced a three-year, $75 million deal with right-hander Sonny Gray. He is the third pitcher St. Louis has signed, joining former Rangers Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson.
The deal also comes with a club option for a fourth year. The $25 million average annual salary for Gray, who will be in his age-34 season, comes after he finished a distant second to Gerrit Cole in AL Cy Young voting.
For those wondering, Ohtani turns 31 on July 5, Snell turns 31 on Monday, Montgomery turns 31 on Dec. 27 and Yamamoto doesn’t turn 26 until Aug. 17.
Toy drive coming
Mark your calendars for the Texas Rangers Toy Drive, which kicks off for another year from 4-7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Globe Life Field. The event marks the 13th consecutive year the Rangers have helped with a holiday initiative that helps area children and families.
This year the toy drive benefits Mission Arlington Mission Metroplex, which provides parents with gifts for their children at no cost.
Fans who bring a new, unwrapped toy with a value of at least $15 will receive a ticket to a select 2024 Rangers home game, limit one ticket per person while supplies last.
Jon Gray and his wife, Jacklyn, are the event hosts. Gray will be among the Rangers players, alumni, coaches and broadcasters on hand to sign autographs. Activities, such as face painting, will be available, and Delaware North will provide free refreshments.
Those attending the toy drive should use Lot B for parking and enter the ballpark through the Grand Slam Team Store, which is accepting toy donations every day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. until Dec. 7. Fans will also receive a 15 percent discount in the story with the purchase of a toy for the toy drive (exclusions apply).
Fans who can’t attend but still want to help can donate to Mission Arlington Mission Metroplex by purchasing items through their Amazon Wish List.
I’ll never look at wiener dogs the same way. Neither will that snake. Enjoy.
They were taking turns lol pic.twitter.com/zGLXLvHFq6
— Clown World ™ 🤡 (@ClownWorld_) November 26, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org