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.
Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner has been diagnosed with a fractured left hand, per a report from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, adds The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, and is expected miss anywhere from 4-6 weeks in recovery before he’s cleared to throw again. In a best-case scenario, the lefty will be ready to pitch again before the All-Star break, but nothing is set in stone just yet.
Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.
The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. The Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.
This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”