Rangers set up memorial fund for Shannon Stone’s family

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At a news conference Friday afternoon, Rangers president Nolan Ryan announced that the team would create and make a “substantial” donation to a memorial fund for Shannon Stone’s family.

Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter, was killed Thursday night after tumbling over the railing at Rangers Ballpark.

“It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen at a ballpark,” Ryan said. “As a father and a grandfather, my heart goes out to that family.”

The Dallas Morning News has a several more notes from the news conference, including mentions from Ryan that any player who needs time off to recover emotionally will get it and that both the Rangers and A’s will wear black armbands in Stone’s honor tonight.

Ryan also said that he wasn’t sure whether Josh Hamilton would play tonight, but “I have no reason to think that he won’t” play.

6:10 p.m. EDT: Here’s the link to the memorial account set up by the Rangers:

Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation Memorial Account in Honor of Shannon Stone

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.