A lot of you get sick of the little piece-by-piece rumor mill of the hot stove season, preferring that we wait until there’s a solid news story instead of a mere rumor to talk about something. I understand why you feel that way, but I disagree with that approach for the simple reason that I view a blog as a conversation, and you shouldn’t expect your friendly neighborhood blogger to zip it until news is official any more than you would the guy on the next bar stool over from you.
Wait. Bad example. God, I wish that guy would shut up.
Anyway, the point is that we make it pretty darn clear when we actually pretend to be reporting news around here. The rest of the time we’re just chatting, and there’s no harm in that. Chat back at us. That’s what the comments are for.
With that disclaimer out of the way, I’m going to offer you another one of those little bitty pieces of gossip that drive some of you crazy: According to 590 The Fan (question: is there a sports radio station in the country that doesn’t call itself “the Fan”?) Matt Holliday has put an offer down on a home in the St. Louis area. I’m guessing this means that the courtship is over and the kissing has begun.
Next up: Jon Heyman tweets that Holliday has signed offer sheets on houses in Balitmore, New York and San Francisco, and that he’s very close to signing a lease on a co-op in a “mystery city.”
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.
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.