Chuck Greenberg

Did Chuck Greenberg undermine Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels?

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Interesting angle on the Rangers’ pursuit of Cliff Lee from Evan Grant today. He thinks Chuck Greenberg “made what could be a very dangerous spur-of-the-moment decision,” in getting involved in the Lee negotiations directly, effectively overruling and undercutting team President Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels who had made it clear as of Wednesday that they did not intend to get into a bidding war for Lee.  Grant compares it all to Tom Hicks getting involved in the Alex Rodriguez negotiations ten years ago.

I can see that, but I tend to think this is a lesson that will be learned by the Rangers, and not a hard lesson. As in, I don’t think they’ll end up winning Lee and thus having to live with a big contract, for the reasons I said earlier today.

Also worth noting that this isn’t just my speculation. Other major league sources have told me — based on their own views of the matter, not on any inside-intelligence — that they don’t think the Rangers will win it. What’s more, they think that’s possibly by design, with all of this being a big show so they can tell fans back home that they tried their hardest. Maybe that’s a bit too cynical — I said as much this morning, but I’m not 100% convinced of it myself — but the fact remains that the people I spoke with would be shocked if the Rangers won.*

Me too.  And thus, though I think Evan is right that Greenberg going over Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels’ head here is problematic, it probably won’t be giant problem.

At least until he does it again with the next big free agent fish.

*Probably worth noting that we were all shocked when the Angels didn’t Carl Crawford too.

Magic Johnson to take over the Lakers, but will still be part of Dodgers ownership

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 15:  Earvin 'Magic' Johnson attends game one of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.

For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.

Matt Wieters is close to signing with the Washington Nationals

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles connects on a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.

Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.

Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.