Rangers president Nolan Ryan said last week that the club was going to make it a priority to work out a contract extension with general manager Jon Daniels before spring training. It sounds like they are going to make good on that promise.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reported last night that the Rangers are talking to Daniels about an extension, a report which was confirmed by Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas this morning.
Daniels, who has been the general manager since 2005, has one year remaining on his current contract. There were some tiny rumblings that Daniels was going to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract in order to interview for the Mets general manager job, but that possibility was rendered moot once the Rangers played deep into October. Considering that the Mets could be on the brink of a change in ownership themselves, Daniels is better off staying put, anyway.
The Rangers still have some other issues to resolve prior to spring training, namely the contract situation with the arbitration-eligible Josh Hamilton, but an extension for Daniels seems like a foregone conclusion at this point.
The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.
At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.
Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.
Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.