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Nolan Ryan: the Rangers are not interested in Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols

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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.

Angels sign Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Eric Young Jr. #4 of the Atlanta Braves slides safely into third base on a RBI triple in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the Braves opening series at Turner Field on April 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Andrelton Simmons #19 scored on the triple.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.

The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.

Report: Blue Jays close to a deal with Jarrod Saltalamacchia

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 9: Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Detroit Tigers hits an RBI single in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 9, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.

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The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.

Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.

The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.