Tuesday newsletter time: Reading between the lines of latest Rangers offseason rumor
(AP photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
When a player struggles or is white hot to start the season, it gets amplified.
The same goes for the first couple sentence or paragraphs of a story about offseason rumors.
Such was the case Monday, as Ken Rosenthal opened a column about what he’s hearing by saying the Rangers “are more confident” that they will sign left-hander Carlos Rodon and Japanese import Kodai Senga than right-handers Jacob deGrom or Justin Verlander.
And that was it.
So, let’s read into it.
The main takeaway could be that the Rangers aren’t too keen on the risk that comes with the oft-injured deGrom at his price tag, as a source told Rangers Today in early October. Verlander has seen the Rangers the past few seasons and probably doesn’t think they have a chance at winning a World Series in what are the sunset seasons of his career.
The Rosenthal comment doesn’t necessarily mean the Rangers think Rodon and Senga are locked up. But they do like Rodon and have met with Senga, and don’t seemed turned off by the risk that would come with signing either pitcher.
Rodon has had two terrific seasons, the best of his career, but his medical file is pretty scary. Senga has the shown stuff in Nippon Professional Baseball, but Japanese pitchers typically encounter struggles in their first season or two in the majors.
Also, are the Rangers confident they can sign both of them? They have the money, but so do other teams. Those teams aren’t trying to exit a rebuilding, as the Rangers are.
Do the Rangers want to sign both of them? Each pitcher is expected to land a five-year contract. The Rangers have Jon Gray for three more years and have plans to talk to Martin Perez in spring training about tacking on a year or two to the one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer he excepted Nov. 15.
That doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for pitching prospects such as Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker, Cole Winn and Owen White, among others who will help contribute and balance the budget in future seasons.
But none of them is ready for 2023.
Two hires to make
The big-league coaching staff has been assembled for manager Bruce Bochy’s first season, with Mike Maddux being hired as pitching coach last week.
General manager Chris Young said that two important hires are still pending in the organization, pitching coaches at Triple A Round Rock and Double A Frisco.
Bill Simas and longtime Rangers minor-league coach Jeff Andrews weren’t retained after the 2022 season ended. Young said that he wants to build a pitching department and the department, with Maddux atop the depth chart, will establish how Rangers pitchers throughout the organization will pitch.
Continuity is a big word in sports. It also applies to messaging with the Rangers.
Offensive coordinator Donnie Ecker is streamlining hitting so that prospects will have an easier transition when they reach the majors. The goal is the same for the pitching prospects, and word from the top will be disseminated to the two pitching coaches who will have their hands most on the pitchers coming up.
Young hopes to have the Triple A and Double A vacancies filled sooner than later, but there isn’t a timetable on it.
The Fort Worth News Guild is on strike. That means my former employer, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is without 91 percent of its editorial staff. Gee, who’s going to cover the Rangers now?
Actually, none of the four Sports writers went on strike. None of them covers the Rangers, either.
I wouldn’t have had the balls to strike, even with my Sugar Mama. Too many mouths to feed and bills to pay.
But, if you weren’t already convinced, now you should be: Your Star-Telegram subscription is a waste of money if you want Rangers coverage. A paid subscription to Rangers Today is A) cheaper and B) better.
Click here to subscribe for $5.99 a month, $35 for six months or $60 for a year (that’s 16 cents a day).
The plan was flawed from the top. Enjoy.
That went downhill fast…🦮🚶♀️😅 pic.twitter.com/GLFaELAvUq
— 𝕐o̴g̴ (@Yoda4ever) November 26, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org