Nolan Ryan shoots down the Rangers’ alleged interest in Carlos Beltran

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Yesterday Jon Heyman reported that the Rangers have interest in Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez. Later in the day, Nolan Ryan said that was not accurate:

“I can’t believe that we have an interest in either,” Ryan told 103.3 FM’s Galloway and Company … “I don’t see that’s an upgrade” to the Rangers’ bullpen, Ryan said. “And Beltran, you worry about his knee. And you’re taking on an awful lot of salary.”

We now have a blind report and a denial of the blind report that could be legit or could just be negotiating tactics, and no real way for any of us to know the difference.

Welcome to trade season!

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.