The Rangers new ownership group knows how to raise fan morale

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On Friday, new Rangers managing partner and CEO Chuck Greenberg announced a new “Stretch Drive Pricing” initiative, slashing prices for parking, concessions and various merchandise items.

“On behalf of Nolan Ryan and our entire group, I want to say how proud
we are to assume the ownership of the Texas Rangers,” commented
Greenberg, who announced the new initiatives at an afternoon press
conference. “This franchise belongs to our fans, and we wanted to show
our appreciation for their loyalty and support by implementing these
initiatives immediately.”

The Rangers cut the price of beer, which is pretty much the perfect way to make new friends, but a personal highlight for me is that the price of hot chocolate was lowered from $3 to $1. I’m sure that’s a very popular item, given that the high in Arlington is expected to be 104 degrees today. 

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.