When the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre to a five-year, $80 million contract last month general manager Jon Daniels said the team was “out” of the mix to potentially re-sign Vladimir Guerrero, but Rangers president Nolan Ryan has re-opened that door a bit.
Guerrero is still available with less than a month to go until the start of spring training despite various other veteran bats coming off the market recently and an inaccurate report claiming he was signing with the Orioles over the weekend.
Asked at the team’s annual “Fan Fest” event if the Rangers might reconsider their stance on Guerrero, here’s what Ryan said:
They were looking for a two-year contract and we had agreed with him and his agent that it was a mutual option this year, so we agreed to let them go out on the market and see what the market bared. And he hadn’t been able, to this point, to get a two-year contract. Is there still a possibility that he could end up signing with us? Yeah, there is. But I’m not for sure what other interest is out there as far as he is concerned.
I think that will play out in the next 20 days before spring training. You’d love to have that bat, another right-handed bat on the bench, or him DHing when Michael Young is playing a position. That will obviously come into play in the decision of where he’s going to go. How many at-bats he thinks he’s going to get somewhere.
In other words, if Guerrero wants to accept a one-year contract and a part-time role after searching for a two-year deal and everyday playing time all offseason the Rangers would think about bringing him back. If not they’ll stick with Michael Young as the primary designated hitter and, as Matthew Pouliot wrote over the weekend, perhaps look to add a cheaper right-handed bat to take playing time from Mitch Moreland against tough lefties.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.