Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants, Game 1

Nolan Ryan won’t rule out Texas re-signing Vladimir Guerrero

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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.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.