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Delino DeShields defends the Rangers in the scheduling controversy

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As you likely saw by now, the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will play their midweek series in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. This was decided after the Rangers declined to swap series with the Astros, allowing the teams to play in Arlington this week and play in Houston in late September.

Last night Bill wrote about how the Rangers’ decision has rankled some people. Specifically, it has rankled Astros executive Reid Ryan as well as a lot of Astros fans. As Bill wrote, it’s a little more complicated than the Rangers simply saying “no” as there are a lot of logistical issues connected to a swap, most of which would hurt the Rangers and their fans. Still, there are and likely will remain hard feelings on the Astros’ side of this.

Into that wades Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields, who took to Twitter in the wee hours this morning to defend the Rangers:

Would it have been good if this series had been moved to Texas instead of Florida? For sure. If they had it could’ve served as a nice moment for Texas as recovery efforts carry on. It’s the plan I endorsed yesterday. But it’s also the case that what goes into such decisions is a lot more complicated than what outsiders like us assume and it’s understandable that the Rangers didn’t want to do that. Not because they’re cruel and heartless, but because it’s a baseball and a business decision. One which does not hinder those efforts in any way or negatively affect people who are in need of help. Baseball is not a priority right now.

All that being said, a lot of series have been moved to neutral sites due to weather and disasters over the past decade or so and everything usually turns out fine. It will this time too.

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.