Last week general manager Jon Daniels admitted that Texas was “very unlikely” to sign Prince Fielder and now Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Rangers “believe they are out of the bidding” for the slugging first baseman.
Fielder met with Rangers officials in Dallas earlier this month, but it’s unclear if talks even reached the offer stage and since then Texas spent $112 million on Yu Darvish.
If the Rangers are indeed out of the mix that seemingly makes the Nationals overwhelming favorites to sign Fielder, although based on various reports that’s probably been the case all along.
It’s possible a team like the Orioles could swoop in with a huge offer, but the Marlins, Mariners, Tigers, and now Rangers are said not to be involved and the usual huge-spending teams don’t really have a big need for Fielder even if they badly wanted him. And it doesn’t hurt that the Nationals’ roster is already packed with prominent Scott Boras clients.
UPDATE: So much for the Nationals. Fielders is reportedly headed to the Tigers.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.