C.J. Wilson

Rangers won’t talk to C.J. Wilson until after the season

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C.J. Wilson is on the verge of hitting the open market and signing a massive long-term contract as a free agent, but Rangers president Nolan Ryan said yesterday that the team won’t attempt to negotiate with him until after the season.

“We don’t believe in negotiating during the season, so we have put that on hold until after we’re through playing and we’ll start talking to C.J. and his agent and see where they are and what their thoughts are,” Ryan told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. “We’re totally focused on what we’re doing in trying to get to the World Series and trying to win the World Series and so that’s where our priority is.”

Ultimately there’s very little chance of Wilson agreeing to re-sign with the Rangers before testing the market anyway, so the timing and the Rangers’ policy against negotiating during the season probably don’t change things much.

Texas certainly kept rolling despite the loss of Cliff Lee last winter, but losing your No. 1 starter in back-to-back offseasons is tough to withstand. Of course, that doesn’t mean giving Wilson, say, a five-year, $75 million contract is automatically a smart move and there’s been some talk that the Rangers will pursue Japanese ace Yu Darvish if they can’t keep Wilson.

Diamondbacks sign Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million deal

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21:  Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 21, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.

Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.

Hazen issued a statement following the signing:

With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.