This should not be terribly surprising given that La Russa and Selig have a pretty close relationship as far as these things go, but for what it’s worth, the Commissioner has La Russa’s back on the Zack Greinke and Johnny Cueto snubs:
“Well let me just say this, Tony will answer all questions about his team. But you look at the list of pitchers, and I went over that with Tony, and I think in the end there were a lot of pitchers available. And I think in the end, they picked their strongest staffs.
I guess I’m most curious about the “I went over that with Tony” line. Really? Selig goes over the All-Star rosters himself with the managers? I can’t decide what I think of that. I sorta want to like it, and it certainly ties in with what we know of Selig’s genuine, almost fan-like interest in the sport he runs. But I’m also kind of surprised that he takes the time to do that. Oh well.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.