Report: the Rangers are inquiring about Prince Fielder

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Jon Heyman tweets* that the Rangers have joined the White Sox and Angels as teams who have made inquiries about Prince Fielder.

How on Earth the Rangers could possibly justify taking on Prince Fielder’s salary obligations is beyond me.  There was enough beefing about Cliff Lee and he makes pennies compared to Fielder, who is owed nearly $4 million for the remainder of this year and is arbitration-eligible for 2011 and will get way into eight figures.  Rival executives — who are indirectly picking up the Rangers’ tab — fumed when Lee was traded. They’d probably storm Bud Selig’s office if Fielder went to Texas.

The Angels part of that doesn’t make a ton of sense either. For starters, the Angels don’t have the prospects to give up for him. Moreover, they’d run into roster problems next season as Kendry Morales is coming back and, in all likelihood, Bobby Abreu will be the everyday DH. And Fielder doesn’t want to DH in 2011 anyway. Other than that, totally spiffy.

*I’m only aware Heyman tweeted that second hand — and I can’t even read the link — because for some reason Heyman has decided to block me from following him on Twitter. 36,000 followers, but I’m not allowed. I emailed to ask him why he did it, but it’s been over 48 hours now and he hasn’t responded.

Perhaps he did it because he’s tired of me noting that he has a habit of talking up strange trade and signing rumors of Scott Boras clients to bidding/division rivals like, say, the Rangers and the Angels.  But that’s just me having fun with him. I mean, he’d never, ever really do that, right?

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.