In other news, the Denver Post owns a share of the Colorado Rockies:
The Post holds a 7.3 percent state in the major league baseball club that is majority owned by brothers Dick and Charlie Monfort. Ed Moss, CEO of the Denver Post, said Digital First Media, which operates MediaNews Group, owner of the newspaper, is seeking to sell the minority stake in the Rockies as the Post focuses on core print and digital business.
It always seems strange to me when newspapers own chunks of businesses which constitute a significant part of the news they cover. I mean, the Rockies don’t make the news randomly, in situations where a brief disclaimer can clear up a potential conflict of interest. They’re assured to be a day-in-day-out part of the Post’s sports section. To my knowledge nothing untoward has ever come of this relationship, but one wonders what the coverage of the Rockies would have been like if their ownership group found itself in a Frank McCourt or Wilpons/Madoff situation.
As for the sale: heck, with franchise values ascending like they are right now, it might not be a bad time for minority owners to cash in. There’s a huge bubble in team values these days and while it may not burst violently like the housing market did, no investment appreciates forever. Oh, and newspapers, in this day and age, could use some cash.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.
Comments from an anonymous team official suggest that Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross will not be expected to join the rotation until May or June, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Both Ross and GM Jon Daniels favor a conservative approach for the 29-year-old as he works his way back up to full health after undergoing surgery last October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
The delay is reportedly being implemented so that Ross will be have the strength and stamina to contribute during the stretch run. Per Daniels:
We would rather err on a little extra time up front with the goal being to finish strong, pitching in big spots, meaningful games down the stretch and hopefully past 162.
Ross signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday after pitching through an injury-riddled season with the Padres in 2016. If all goes according to plan, he’ll slot into a rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez. The Rangers are expected to narrow down their fifth starter alternatives in spring training.