Tom Hicks issues statement for goodbye as Rangers owner

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Now that the Rangers sale is finally complete, longtime owner Tom Hicks issued the following statement saying, more or less, goodbye:

Obviously, this is a bittersweet moment for our family because these past 12 years with the Rangers have produced a remarkable experience for all of us. I sincerely think the two major turning points in this franchise involved naming Jon Daniels general manager and Nolan Ryan becoming club president.

Chuck Greenberg and Nolan take control of a club that is well-positioned to compete, not only this year but for many years to come. There is much that we will miss; however, this sale has produced an outcome that is positive for the Texas Rangers, Major League Baseball and even for the lenders.

Most importantly, a strong leadership team will be in place to help guide the franchise to the next level. I look forward to joining all the other Rangers fans that cheer for this team to have success come October.

Something tells me if Hicks actually joins “all the other Rangers fans” in October he won’t be hearing a whole lot of cheering in his section.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.