The judge in the Texas Rangers bankruptcy case ruled today and — contrary to the statements he made from the bench last week in which he suggested he was leaning in the Rangers’ favor — held that the creditors’ interests are “imparied” by the bankruptcy plan. That means they can vote to accept or reject the prepackaged plan that the team had come up with. Of course, the creditors have said they would reject the
prepackaged plan, so unless something dramatic happens soon, they probably will.
I haven’t read the entire decision yet — Maury’s got it in case you’re interested — and I will obviously update with nuances that matter, but the upshot of this is that the plan for the Rangers to emerge from bankruptcy quickly (i.e. before the trading deadline) is in serious jeopardy. It also means that the whole sale of the team to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan could unravel, and the team could be put up for bid again. Obviously if the team doesn’t emerge from bankruptcy and isn’t sold before the end of July the Rangers will be in no position to make any big moves before the deadline.
That sound you hear is every Rangers fan in the world screaming bloody murder to the heavens above. Once they get done venting, however, they should refocus those screams at Tom Hicks because he’s the one that got everything in such a mess to begin with.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
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.