Rangers nearing multi-year extension with Ron Washington

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters soon after his club’s loss in the World Series that locking up manager Ron Washington to a multi-year contract was his first offseason priority.  He wasn’t lying.

The two sides will sit down on Thursday and work out the final details of a contract extension, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, and could make an official announcement by the end of the day.

Washington was criticized for making a couple of odd moves during the World Series, but he’s highly respected by the core of the Rangers’ clubhouse and the same can be said for his relationship with the Rangers’ front office.  “Wash,” as Daniels calls him, has a 331-317 record in four years with Texas.

With a solid young lineup and pitching staff, a billion-dollar television deal, and a fruitful farm system, Washington and the Rangers should make a successful pair for many years to come.

Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.