Ian Kinsler could become a free agent following the 2013 season, but he wants to stay with the Rangers for the long haul. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram, Kinsler said that his agent, Jay Franklin, has had preliminary talks with the club about an extension.
“I want to stay here,” Kinsler said. “I was drafted by the Rangers, and I want to be a Ranger. You never know how long it’s going to take. I think the sooner the better for them, and the sooner the better for me.”
Kinsler signed a five-year, $22 million extension with the Rangers way back in 2008. The 29-year-old second baseman is due to make $7 million next season while his contract includes a $10 million club option for 2013 or a $500,000 buyout.
The Rangers are committed to keeping their core pieces in place, but Kinsler’s status may take a back seat to more pressing matters in the days ahead. Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli can both become free agents next offseason, so contract talks are expected to be a priority this offseason. They may also attempt to counter the additions of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson by the division-rival Angels, though general manager Jon Daniels insisted Friday that he isn’t comfortable making a reactive move.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.