We already know that the Rangers will make an effort to lock up ace left-hander Cliff Lee this offseason. Now new CEO and managing partner Chuck Greenberg is saying that he also plans to work out an extension with outfielder Josh Hamilton in the very near future. This according to the Dallas Morning News.
“Keeping Josh here for the long haul is essential,” Greenberg said simply. “His performance on the field speaks for itself.”
Hamilton, 29, is under team control through 2012, but the Rangers may want to buy out his remaining arbitration-eligible years with an extension that also extends into his first few seasons of free agency. If he keeps up his torrid pace at the plate, it could save them money in the long run.
The former No. 1 overall pick is batting a ridiculous .364/.411/.639 this season with 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 440 at-bats. He also has eight stolen bases and is a strong defensive outfielder despite his bulky size. Injuries have been a problem in the past, but it’s hard to top a healthy Hamilton when it comes to ranking American League outfielders.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.