Rangers still hoping to bring back Vladimir Guerrero

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Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has an update this morning on free agent designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero.

The nuts and bolts?  The Rangers want Vlad to return, but they can’t commit a multi-million dollar contract to him until they know how they stand in the running for free agent left-hander Cliff Lee.

Guerrero batted .300/.345/.496 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI in 152 games this past season for Texas, helping the club to its first World Series appearance.  In a market thin on power hitters he should draw some interest, but the 35-year-old has lost the ability to play the outfield and probably won’t want to sign with a non-contender in the twilight years of his baseball career.

The Rangers really are an ideal fit.  Guerrero has stellar career numbers inside the Ballpark at Arlington and he was asked to play the field only a handful of times in 2010.  He can stay healthy, and the Rangers can benefit off a bat that still packs a punch.  Now if only that Lee guy would hurry up and sign.

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.

It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.

Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:

He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.

“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”

The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.