The Rangers have had a pretty hectic offseason.
After losing to the Giants in the World Series, they found themselves in almost instant contract talks with Cliff Lee right up until mid-December. Once Lee signed with the Phillies, the Rangers countered with the additions of Brandon Webb and Adrian Beltre.
Naturally, there hasn’t been much time for general manager Jon Daniels to talk about that long-anticipated contract extension, but now that the team’s roster has taken shape, Rangers president Nolan Ryan told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that he expects something to get done soon.
“I would expect that to be done before spring training,” Ryan said. “If he hadn’t been on vacation for the last 10 days, we probably would have been much further along on that. It’s hard for me to predict what timeline we’re dealing with, but it’s going to be a priority these next couple of weeks.”
Daniels, who was named the 2010 Executive of the Year by Baseball America in December, has one year left on his current deal. While there’s optimism that something will get done soon, the Rangers will also be talking with reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton, who filed for $12 million in arbitration earlier this week.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.