Phillies GM Ruben Amaro apologized to Ryan Howard

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In December, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro publicly criticized first baseman Ryan Howard in an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic back in December. Amaro said, “It would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him. With that said if he’s with us, then we’ll work around him.”

Since then, Amaro has taken some heat for the comment as it’s not exactly a good look to go on the media circuit to trash a player who could potentially serve as a trade asset.

That chapter of the Ryan Howard book has ended, though, as Amaro has apologized to the slugger, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

“Frankly, I apologized for those comments that I made that were public,” Amaro said. “And I think he appreciated that. Other than that, I want to keep the conversation private. It was a good talk.”

Howard, 35, is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $125 million contract extension signed back in April 2010. He’ll earn $25 million in both 2015 and ’16, and will receive another $10 million when the Phillies (or his eventual acquiring team) buy him out for $10 million for the 2017 season. Howard, who owns the Phillies’ single-season home run record with 58, batted a meager .223/.310/.380 last season but slugged 23 home runs and knocked in 95 runs.

Report: Rangers sign Jordan Lyles to two-year, $16 million deal

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers and pitcher Jordan Lyles have agreed to a contract. ESPN’s Jeff Passan provided the details, reporting that it is a two-year, $16 million deal.

Lyles, 29, split last season between the Pirates and Brewers, performing much better with the latter. Overall, he compiled a 4.15 ERA with a 146 strikeouts and 55 walks across 141 innings. It was a return to full-time starting for Lyles, who had performed mostly as a reliever from 2016-18.

The Rangers also inked Kyle Gibson to a three-year, $30 million contract last week. Gibson and Lyles will join a rotation that also includes Mike Minor and Lance Lynn as well as youngster Kolby Allard.