Let's take a peek inside the Rangers finances

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Just like the divorce case in Los Angeles, the bankruptcy case in Texas has given us the rare opportunity to take a look inside the usually secretive world of team finances.  A pretty full financial disclosure was released by the Rangers yesterday. Maury has the documents here.

The sad news: no V-energy peddling gurus, diamond cars with platinum wheels, panda steaks or six-week stays in gilded palaces like we saw in the McCourt divorce documents.  Mostly it’s just the pedestrian business of a baseball team that, sale drama notwithstanding, rarely sticks out in the crazy department.

Owner Tom Hicks pays himself $183K a year. He may or may not be worth that, but I’m willing to wager that he’s on the low end of owners who pay themselves. Nolan Ryan makes $1.5 million, and given all of the goodwill and ass-kickings he provides, I think he’s probably worth it. I love that there is a line item for Rusty Greer. I love that the Rangers not only paid an entity called “Team Beans, L.L.C.,” but that something called “Team Beans” feels it needs to limit its liability (what, exactly are they doing?!).  The Rangers have paid out oodles in legal fees as a result of the sale and bankruptcy in recent months, which just goes to show you that buying things “prepackaged” is rarely a bargain. Go organic, dudes.

The most interesting item relates to a blog, actually. Seems that Jamey Newberg of the notable Rangers blog “The Newberg Report” has taken over $27K from the team this year, plus had his and his family’s trip to spring training paid for by the Rangers, according to the Dallas Morning News.

I’m not an expert on the Rangers’ blogosphere — the only thing I really know for sure is that commenters therein like to add obscenities to the end of “Calca-” when talking about my Rangers posts — but my understanding was that Newberg portrayed himself as an independent blog with no official connection to the team. He tells the Morning News that “the payments
likely were for books he sold to the club.”  Seems he’d know that for sure. Also seems like he should at least disclose to his readers that he does business with the Rangers.

In other news, all you team-specific bloggers who aren’t selling tens of thousands of dollars of books and getting free trips from the teams you cover are suckers.

UPDATE: Newberg responds.

Yankees trade Sonny Gray to the Reds

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The deal was much talked about all weekend and now the deal is done: The Cincinnati Reds gave acquired starter Sonny Gray and lefty Reiver Sanmartin from the Yankees in exchange for second base prospect Shed Long and a 2019 competitive balance pick.

The key to making the deal happen: Gray agreeing to a a three-year, $30.5 million contract extension. The Reds will likewise hold a $12 million club option for 2023. The deal had been struck and a window granted through close of business today to get Gray to agree to the extension and, obviously, he has.

The Reds will get a pitcher coming off of a bad season in which he posted a disappointing 4.90 ERA in 23 starts and seven relief appearances. He was hammered particularly hard in Yankee Stadium but pitched better on the road. Great American Ballpark is not a great pitcher’s park itself but any change of scenery would be nice for Gray, who had become much unwanted and unloved in New York. In Cincinnati he has the assurance of a spot in the rotation and, even better for him, he will be reunited with his college pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who joined new manager David Bell’s Reds staff earlier this offseason. If he bounces back even a little bit, the Reds will have a useful starter at a below market price for four years. If he doesn’t, well, they haven’t exactly gone bankrupt taking the chance.

The Reds will also get Reiver Sanmartin, 22, who started in the Rangers system before being traded to the Yankees. He’s a soft-tosser who figures to be a reliever if he makes the big leagues. He played at four different levels last season, with one game at Double-A and the rest below that, posting a composite 2.80 ERA in 10 starts and 13 overall appearances while striking out 7.8 batters per nine.

The Yankees will get Shed Long, who is ranked as the Reds’ seventh best prospect. The 23-year old second baseman hit .261/.353/.412 at Double-A in 2018 and has hit very close to that overall line for his entire six-year minor league career. He strikes out a bit and may not stick at second base long term, shifting to a corner outfield slot perhaps, but he’s a legitimate prospect.

The Reds get another starter with some upside. The Yankees get rid of a problem and gain a prospect and a draft pick. Sonny Gray gets some job and financial security at a time when it is not at all clear what his future holds. Not a bad baseball trade.

UPDATE: Welp, the Yankees don’t have a prospect anymore. They just traded long to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers. Stowers was a second-round pick in last year’s draft. He’s 21 and batted .260/.380/.410 with five homers and 20 steals over 58 games in Short-Season ball in 2018. He’s ranked by MLB.com as the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect, but now he’s New York bound.