Albatross Guillen doesn't expect to be back with Royals

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jose guillen.jpgUpon hearing a hint of a rumor that he could be dealt to the Mets, Jose Guillen told Dominican paper Diairo Libre that he was open to waiving his partial no-trade clause to play for the club and that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Royals next year.
According to the translation provided by the Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News, Guillen said the following:
“If trading me would help the Royals, New York would be one of the clubs I would approve. … I have just started a rigorous program of winter training in order to arrive in the best form possible for spring training. My mind is focused on having a great season next year and until now I believed that would be with the Royals. … It would be a little unjust if they judge me for the statistics of this year, because the injuries did not allow me to play, but I have shown that when I am healthy I can produce a lot.”
Guillen, of course, hit a pretty unimpressive .264/.300/.438 while healthy in 2008. He came in at .242/.314/.367 in 81 games last season. Maybe he can bounce back offensively, but he’ll still be a liability defensively with a subpar OBP. The Mets hardly need him when they already have a similar offensive player and a far superior defensive one in right field in Jeff Francoeur.
Of course, there isn’t a contender in baseball that needs Guillen. The Royals can pay the majority of the $12 million he’s still owed, yet there will still be superior free agent options in the $3 million-$4 million range. As a result, the Royals will likely be stuck with Guillen into next season. If he shows something in April and May, then perhaps they’ll be able to dump the rest of his contract or at least a significant portion of it.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.

Report: Tyson Ross not expected to pitch in April

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Tyson Ross #38 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Petco Park September 29, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Comments from an anonymous team official suggest that Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross will not be expected to join the rotation until May or June, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Both Ross and GM Jon Daniels favor a conservative approach for the 29-year-old as he works his way back up to full health after undergoing surgery last October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.

The delay is reportedly being implemented so that Ross will be have the strength and stamina to contribute during the stretch run. Per Daniels:

We would rather err on a little extra time up front with the goal being to finish strong, pitching in big spots, meaningful games down the stretch and hopefully past 162.

Ross signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday after pitching through an injury-riddled season with the Padres in 2016. If all goes according to plan, he’ll slot into a rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez. The Rangers are expected to narrow down their fifth starter alternatives in spring training.