MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan flew to Dallas to meet with co-owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. Ryan had considered stepping down from his position as there is a bit of a power struggle involving Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels. Sullivan says Ryan could end up sticking around after all:
A resolution could be reached that would allow Ryan to remain with the Rangers and there is a possibility that a formal announcement will be made at some point this weekend, according to a source.
Ryan directly hired pitching coach Mike Maddux and bench coach Jackie Moore, moves that are usually reserved for the general manager. There was also some messiness within the organization surrounding Ryan’s titles, as noted by Evan Grant:
The Rangers never should have given Ryan two titles when Chuck Greenberg was pushed out of the organization. He should have moved into the CEO’s role then and the current array of titles could have been divided up then.
Outfielder David Murphy doesn’t think the Ryan situation will affect the team, saying, “I think an issue with a player is one thing but if it’s something that deals with the front office, that’s not an issue. We have absolutely no control over that.”
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.