The Rangers went to visit Cliff Lee yesterday

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Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that a contingent from the Rangers flew to Arkansas yesterday to meet with Cliff Lee.

But wait! I thought he wasn’t listening! I thought he was in a duck blind somewhere, thinking about anything other than baseball. But I guess this is just arms race stuff, what with the Yankees having already sent Brian Cashman down.  “Ha! You sent your GM?  We sent a GM and two owners too!”

According to Andro the meeting lasted approximately two hours.  I’m going to assume unless told otherwise that the entirety of the conversation was about how awful New York and their fans are.

And just wait: tomorrow we’ll hear reports from Lee’s friends talking about how it was odd that Brian Cashman wouldn’t accept Kristen Lee’s offer of sweet tea, and how Chuck Greenberg sat in “the good chair.”  We, of course, will follow up with instant hot stove analysis of these critical developments.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.