Rangers will try to lock up Cliff Lee this offseason

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New Rangers CEO and minority owner Chuck Greenberg has made it known that his club will do all it can to lock up left-hander Cliff Lee in the offseason.  This according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth-Star Telegram.

Of course, even if the Rangers don’t think they have a shot at pulling it off, Greenberg might as well preach the idea all summer and into the fall.  The Yankees are known to have their eyes on Lee and tend to outbid the competition when they truly find a guy that they want.  Then there are the other 28 teams that would love to add an ace left-hander.

Lee, 31, has posted a 10-5 record, a 2.44 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 19 starts this season between Seattle and Texas.  He has racked up 126 strikeouts and walked only nine batters.  And two of those were intentional walks.  The guy is going to be this offseason’s big winner.

“Let’s see what happens,” Lee told the Star-Telegram on Saturday. “There’s a lot can happen between now and then,
but, yeah, it’s nice to be wanted.  I’ve got to take care of what I
need to take care of between now and then. I have to help this team get
to the postseason and the World Series. That’s the ultimate goal. I’m
not too worried about the other stuff.”

The Rangers have a healthy nine-game first-place lead in the American League West thanks to a 64-46 record.  They’re headed for their first playoff appearance since 1999.

Doesn’t anyone want to sign Edwin Encarnacion?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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OXON HILL, MD — Edwin Encarnacion began the offseason as, arguably, the second most desirable free agent on the market. As the Winter Meetings approach their end, however, he is a man without a team. And may not have a team any time soon.

Many teams have been rumored to be checking in on Encarnacion, but the defining trait of his free agency thus far has been clubs taking a pass. The most recent one being the Rangers, who are reported to simply not have the money to sign him, despite him filling a clear offensive need in Texas. Maybe the Rangers would be more competitive on the free agent market if they had a new stadium. Who knows?

The Blue Jays, for whom he most recently played, offered him a four-year, $80 million deal that most figured was a lowball, and when he rejected it, they moved on to Kendrys Morales. The Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland. The Yankees are reported to be passing. The most recent team linked to Encarnacion is the Indians, who are reported to have an offer out to him, but at this point it’s likely far lower than what most free agent watchers thought he might get a few weeks ago. A four-year, $90 million deal did not seem crazy for him in October. In December, there is speculation that he could be had for $60 million over that same term which, frankly, would be a bargain. That’s less than Mark Melancon, the third best closer on the market, got from the Giants.

There have been a lot of remarkable things that have happened in the past few weeks, but one of the most unexpected things would be one of the top bats in the game getting second-tier closer money.

Late Athletics broadcaster Bill King wins the Ford C. Frick Award

bill-king
CSN Bay Area
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OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.

King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.