A lot of people want to put Prince Fielder in a Texas Rangers jersey, but Nolan Ryan tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Rangers are in the Mitch Moreland business:
“We truly believe Mitch’s career is ahead of him,” said Ryan. “Making a seven-or-eight year deal for Fielder or Pujols is not something our organization is prepared to do. I very much expect Mitch Moreland to be our first baseman next year.”
I suppose it’s possible that this is all about negotiation and that the Rangers could still be interested in one of the big first baseman, but as I said the other day, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for Texas to shoot the moon like that. They won their division by ten games. The Angels, A’s and Mariners aren’t exactly poised to overtake them. If the Rangers have a need to spend some money on anything it’s starting pitching, not boomsticks.
Ryan doesn’t have a history of talking b.s. When he says Texas doesn’t want any part of Fielder or Pujols, I’m inclined to believe him.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.