Chuck Greenberg's message to Rangers fans: "Believe"

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The owner of my team makes $87.5 million a year and I’m guessing he’s too busy eating panda steaks and lounging on unicorn skin couches to spend much time on the blogs.  Not so the Rangers new owner. Chuck Greenberg took to Lone Star Ball today to send a message to Rangers fans in advance of tomorrow’s Game 5:

BELIEVE….this isn’t supposed to be easy. Nothing this year has
been. Whether on the field or off, every time things looked about set,
unexpected problems arose. But in the end, the conclusion we sought was
EARNED, each and every time. This series is simply a microcosm of all
that has preceded it. This season has been filled with magic, and more
lies ahead. As for history? Forget it. History doesn’t throw a pitch or
swing a bat. History belongs to those who make it, and it takes place in
the present tense. Our history will be made on Tuesday. Be proud….and
BELIEVE.

Chuck

I think that “microcosm” stuff is a bit is strange. To the extent this series is a microcosm of anything — start strong, encounter trouble, get pushed to the brink, hopefully end strong — it is a microcosm of Greenberg’s struggle to buy the Rangers over the past year. I’m guessing most fans don’t give a toss about any of that. They just want Cliff Lee to shut down the Rays tomorrow.

But still, cool enough.  More than most owners would do.  I think I’m pulling for the Rangers in this one anyway.

Diamondbacks sign Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million deal

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21:  Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 21, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.

Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.

Hazen issued a statement following the signing:

With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.