Nolan Ryan now controls the Rangers


Well, for all practical purposes he has controlled them for a long time, but as of today it became official, with the other owners approving his elevation at the Owners’ Meetings.  The official press release:

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that the Major League owners have formally approved the designation of Nolan Ryan as the control person of the Texas Rangers.  The Major League Clubs voted during today’s quarterly owners meetings at Major League Baseball’s New York headquarters.  Each Major League Club has a designated control person who is accountable to Major League Baseball for the operation of the Club and for the Club’s compliance with the rules of Baseball.

[in Major League Baseball’s offices, circa Nineteen dickety-two or whenever it was current ownership rules came into effect]

MLB Dude 1: Hey, with all of the multi-member ownership groups these days we probably need a way to make sure we know who speaks for the clubs.

MLB Dude 2: Yeah, you’re right. What if we have two 50% stakeholders in a team disagreeing about something and we don’t know whose vote to accept?

Dude 1: Exactly. Let’s let them sort it out amongst themselves. For our purposes, we should have one person who is, in effect, in control.

Dude 2: Good idea. We can call it “the Control Guy.”

Dude 1: Well — and I know this sounds insane — but now that the Nineteenth Amendment has passed, it’s possible that one day a woman may be in charge of a club.

Dude 2: You think? How could that happen? Do they have voting and property rights now?

Dude 1: They’ve always had property rights. We’ve just systematically kept them from exercising them fully via our white male hegemony.

Dude 2: Oh yeah. Reminds me: I didn’t get the minutes from last month’s hegemony meeting. Can you get me a copy?

Dude 1: Sure. In the meantime, let’s just call it “Control Person,” because the last thing we need is Alice Stone freakin’ Blackwell crawling up our backsides.

Dude 2: Great. “Control Person” sounds kind of corny, but it’s just a placeholder. We’ll come up with another, more appropriate and official sounding title later.

Dude 1: Agreed. Now, how do we keep the Irish from owning teams?  I just heard that one “Cornelius McCourt” is interested in purchasing the Brooklyn club …

Orioles interested in Denard Span

Denard Span
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
AP Photo/Paul Beaty

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.