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The Texas Rangers are still in the process of shoring up their roster for the upcoming 2012 season. After losing C.J. Wilson to the Los Angeles and acquiring Japanese star Yu Darvish following a bidding war, the team still has some question marks in their rotation. These questions could be solved with the addition of a free-agent pitcher like Roy Oswalt.
Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated recently graded the remaining free agents still on the market and evaluated which teams would be the best fit. He not only ranked Oswalt No. 1 overall of the remaining free agents, but paired the hurler up with the Rangers as making the most sense for a destination team. Here's Reiter's take:
After making $16 million in 2011 to be one of the Phillies' "four aces" -- and then only throwing 139 innings due to injury -- Oswalt is reportedly holding out for a one-year, $10 million dollar deal. He might get it, as he is easily the most talented free agent remaining. While the Red Sox have a chance, his favored suitors appear to be last year's World Series participants, the Cardinals -- where he'd rejoin Berkman, his old Astros teammate -- and the Rangers. Even though it seems to have a fully stocked rotation (Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz), Texas might make the most sense, as Oswalt would provide excellent depth should Feliz struggle in his transition from the bullpen, or Darvish in his from Japan.
Oswalt would certainly be a spectacular tool to ease Feliz into his starter role, as well as acting as a mentor for the young pitching staff.
It seems as though the other shoe has finally dropped as it pertains to the free agency of Prince Fielder. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Fielder is on the verge of signing a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Detroit Tigers.
SI.com is tracking the complete developments of the Fielder deal as it unfolds with the Tigers. Detroit comes seemingly out of left field as a suitor for the slugging free agent, who put up a slash line of .299/.415/.566 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011.
The Brewers were believed to be a front-runner for Fielder in the early going, but their signing of free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish, combined with the short-term need to extend Josh Hamilton, effectively removed them from the hunt. This move certainly has a deep impact on the American League's Central Division and makes the Tigers an immediate threat to make another run at the postseason.
Ever since Prince Fielder met with Texas Rangers officials in mid-January, the Rangers have been strongly linked to rumors surrounding the hefty first baseman. Unfortunately for the Rangers, it looks as though they are out of the Fielder sweepstakes, at least according to Bob Nightengale.
The Texas Rangers believe they are out out of the bidding for free-agent slugger Prince Fielder, according to a person with knowledge of the talks, but not authorized to speak publicly because of the ongoing negotiations.
It's premature to count the Rangers out until a contract is signed with another team, but, it doesn't seem likely that the Rangers can commit financially for 2012 to Fielder. Michael Young's contract doesn't come off the books until 2013, and Josh Hamilton's contract doesn't expire until the end of the 2012 season. Young is set to make $16 million in each of the next two seasons, while Hamilton will earn $13.75 million in 2012.
Texas already made a big splash this winter as well, spending over $50 million dollars simply to talk to Yu Darvish, before inking him to a six-year, $56 million dollar contract.
Some Rangers executives believe that signing Hamilton to a long-term extension is preferable to signing Fielder, which is something that could also serve as an impediment to Fielder negotiations.
The Rangers' final deal with Yu Darvish looks pretty good, and stands as a symbol of where the team is trying to go now and in the future.
The Texas Rangers will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon to inform the general public that they have signed their man, Yu Darvish, just before the the 4 p.m. CT deadline that was set to sign the star Japanese pitcher.
The six-year deal is worth approximately $60 million. Deal is done. Darvish a Ranger. - @Evan_P_Grant via Twitter
Also from Grant, the Darvish deal eclipses the previous "posting" record for a Japanese player. Daisuke Matsuzaka received a $52-million six year contract from the Boston Red Sox in 2007 after the Red Sox already paid $51.1 million to his Japanese club just to negotiate a deal.
Darvish will be placed into a pitching rotation in desperate need of an ace. With C.J. Wilson leaving for the Angels, Darvish will be fit into the rotation alongside Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, and Derek Holland. The Rangers will decide in the off-season on whether to keep Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando in the bullpen or add them to the rotation as well.
After a month of mostly behind-the-scenes negotiating, the Texas Rangers have reportedly come to terms with Yu Darvish for a six-year deal hours before the 4 PM Wednesday negotiating deadline:
The deal would keep the 25-year old Japanese star in Arlington until the 2018 season, potentially giving the Rangers the security of penciling a front-of-the-rotation starter for the longest period in the history of the traditionally pitching-starved franchise.
Darvish, a 6'5 220 right-hander whose father is a native Iranian, is bigger than most Japanese pitchers, one of the reasons why Texas thinks he'll be better equipped to handle the difficult transition to the MLB.
He has nothing left to prove in Japan, as he's dominated the NPL, with an ERA well under 2.00 in each of the last five seasons.
With the money they used to sign Darvish, the Rangers could have re-signed C.J. Wilson or pursued Prince Fielder aggressively, so how well he pitches for the two-time defending AL champions will be one of the biggest story-lines in baseball in the 2012 season.
After over a month of negotiating behind closed doors, the Texas Rangers are reportedly close to reaching an agreement with Yu Darvish on a deal that would bring the 25-year old Japanese pitcher to Arlington:
While very little of the negotiations have leaked out, most people within baseball have expected both sides to come to an agreement.
Texas didn't post a record $51.7 million fee to Darvish's club if they didn't believe he would be able to make the transition to the States, while Darvish would not put himself through the media circus of leaving Japan unless he was serious about playing in MLB.
Over the last week, the Rangers have been talking with representatives for Milwaukee Brewers free agent Prince Fielder as a Plan B if the Darvish talks fall apart, as it's unlikely the team would spend the over $200 million in guaranteed money it would take to sign both stars.
Matt Harrison agrees to a one-year deal at $2.95 million, just shy of the mid-point between club and player filing figures.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) January 18, 2012
Harrison started 30 games for the Rangers during the 2011 season and finished 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA and 126 strikeouts. Harrison made four post-season starts and went 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in those contests. He has started 62 games in his career and has a career record of 30-19 with a 4.49 ERA. His 14 wins in 2011 were a career-high.
The Texas Rangers were unable to reach deals with catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli and outfielder Nelson Cruz and have gone into arbitration with both players. They are $2 million away from a deal with Cruz and $3.2 million away from a deal with Napoli.
Last season, Cruz scored 64 runs, hit 29 home runs and had a batting average of .263. He hit a walk-off grand slam in Game 2 and hit a three-run home run in Game 4 of the ALCS. He finished the post season with eight home runs, which tied a record with Barry Bonds and Carlos Beltran for most post-season home runs.
Napoli hit 30 home runs and had a batting average of .320 in 2011. He had 75 RBIs throughout the season and in Game 2 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, he hit a two-run-double to give the Rangers the lead late in the game. They held on to win but ultimately lost the series.
For more updates on the Texas Rangers, Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli, check out Lone Star Ball.
The Texas Rangers appear to have their sights focused on free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. SportsDay from the Dallas Morning News posted some excerpts from Monday's program featuring Analysts Kevin Sherrington and Evan Grant, who chimed in with their take on the Rangers' pursuit of Fielder.
Grant was asked whether the targeting of Fielder might merely be part of a negotiating tactic with free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. He had this to say:
It's very, very clear that [Texas] is where [Fielder] wants to be. We're now in the second week of January and he's still sitting there unsigned. It appears that he and Scott Boras have been waiting all along for the Rangers to get their Darvish situation settled so they could get down to brass tacks between Prince and the Rangers.
Sherrington, meanwhile, was asked about whether the Rangers would be able to sign Fielder to a long-term deal if he comes to Arlington, or if he would merely be a hired gun for the 2012 season.
It depends on what you mean by long-term. He was talking eight, nine or 10 years. He wasn't going to get that from anybody, everybody's afraid of that body and what it's going to be like in five or six years. I think if you can get Prince Fielder for four or five years, I think it's well worth considering in where you're going to be, and especially as negotiations progress with Josh Hamilton. You have to decide what you want to do with him, because now it's come out that he wants six years. So I think both of those guys, those are both questionable deals to extend them both that far. So I think they'll have to make up their mind on which power hitter they want.
The addition of Fielder would make the potent offense of the two-time defending American League champion Rangers even more formidable. In 2011, Fielder hit .299/.415/.566 with 38 home runs, 36 doubles and 120 RBI. He also posted the best walk-to-strikeout ratio of his career, walking 107 times against 106 strikeouts. Over seven seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, fielders career slash line is at .282/.390/.540 with 230 home runs.
For all news and information regarding the Texas Rangers, please visit Lone Star Ball.
According to Bob Nightengale, a Major League Baseball writer for USA Today, members of the Texas Rangers are meeting Prince Fielder, the long-time Milwaukee Brewers first baseman, in a Dallas-area hotel today.
Fielder is one of the most prominent free agent left in baseball and the Rangers have been rumored to be one of the teams, along with the Toronto Blue Jays, to be left in the running to sign the power-hitting first baseman. Fielder is coming off a season in which he hit 38 home runs and had a batting average of .299. He also finished third in voting for the National League's Most Valuable Player Award.
For more info on the Rangers and updates on a possible Prince Fielder signing, visit Lone Star Ball.
Despite bidding nearly $52 million on Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, the suddenly big-pocketed Texas Rangers have been repeatedly linked with Milwaukee Brewers first basemen Prince Fielder, the most prominent free agent left, in recent weeks.
In the Dallas Morning News, Gerry Fraley reports that the team "is still lurking" on Fielder, crediting the franchise's new local TV contract with expanding their coffers while noting that the Rangers swooped in at the last minute and signed Adrian Beltre last January.
With the Angels signing Albert Pujols and the Cardinals signing Carlos Beltran, there aren't many viable options for Fielder, who is rumored to want a contract in excess of $150 million, left on the market.
The only remaining marquee franchise who could use a slugging first basemen is the Chicago Cubs, and they are still several years away from contention under new GM Theo Epstein. The Toronto Blue Jays, who just missed out on Darvish, have been discussed as a possible destination as well.
Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, has been one of the most effective negotiators in baseball over the last decade, and it's entirely possible he's playing these negotiations close to the vest.
The Texas Rangers, whose only real hole offensively is at the first base position, have been linked to Fielder all off-season.
Even after posting a record-breaking $51.7 million bid to negotiate with star Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, one ESPN analyst believes Texas is still pursuing Fielder:
JimBowdenESPNxm JIM BOWDENDespite denials sources close to Fielder acknowledge TX&TORONTO still in on him..TX should be w 180m up-front from new TV deal &Tor after Yu
It's hard to know how seriously to take "sources close to Fielder" as Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, is notorious for using the media to drum up interest in his clients.
Texas hasn't expressed much interest in Fielder lately, but their front office was fairly close-lipped during the bidding process for Darvish.
The Texas Rangers have won the posting auction of Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish with a record $51.7M bid, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.
Per Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, MLB has confirmed that the Rangers were indeed the high bidders.
Texas will now have to give the Nippon-Ham Fighters the $51.7 million dollars if they sign Darvish to a contract. Darvish and the Rangers will have thirty days to agree to terms. If the Rangers are unable to sign Darvish, then the Rangers will not have to pay the posting fee.
Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA in 2011 for the Fighters, while striking out 276 and walking only 36 in 232 innings.
With speculation rampant that the winning bid to negotiate with Yu Darvish exceeded the $51.1 million the Boston Red Sox posted for Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Toronto Blue Jays are widely seen as the front-runners for the Japanese pitching star.
The Rangers have been putting out signals that they would not be interested in such a high price, noting that their budget is stretched due to renovating the Ballpark in Arlington as well as buying out former front-man Chuck Greenberg.
However, according to ESPN's Buster Olney, Texas is still a serious threat to be announced as the winning team on Monday night:
Buster_ESPN Buster OlneyMost folks guessing/assuming Jays have won Darvish bidding. But just got off the phone with an AL exec who speculates smart $ is on Rangers.
As Olney points out, Toronto was heavily involved in the Matt Latos trade sweepstakes that ended over the weekend, which is slightly odd behavior if the team expected to come out on top of the Darvish derby.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have a lot of excess money after two straight World Series trips as well as a huge new TV contract they signed with Fox Sports Southwest, and there is some sentiment that they need to match the Angels after their division rivals signed Albert Pujols and former Texas starter C.J. Wilson this off-season.
After months of speculation, Darvish's team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, will announce Monday night which MLB club posted the highest bid for their 25-year old star.
With all the talk around Major League Baseball currently surrounding Yu Darvish, Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson and the Angels, one of the premiere free agents in the 2011 class has been lurking in the background: Prince Fielder. While the Rangers have denied interest in a first baseman all offseason, citing that Mitch Moreland is the guy at first, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports seems to think that the Rangers are the favorites to land Fielder.
The lineup is already arguably the best in baseball, but first baseman Mitch Moreland didn't exactly distinguish himself in the playoffs and has a wrist injury to boot. There is word the Rangers have talked about trades for Moreland, giving rise to more rumors. While this team is excellent as is, the Rangers might want to counter the Angels, who stole ex-Texas ace C.J. Wilson and now have four starters who are more accomplished and arguably better than any of the Rangers' starters. The way to combat that is with bats. Well, here's one. Odds: 3-1
Heyman also states that Fielder is going to be looking for a contract at least in the range of Pujols' $254 million dollar deal that he received from the Angels. While he hasn't had the career that Pujols has had, Fielder might be the better bet going forward, as he is entering the prime of his career -- Fielder turns 28 next year, while Pujols will turn 32.
Daniels and the rest of Texas' front office always seem to play things close to the vest, so it's pretty difficult to gauge how much interest they have in Fielder.
Adding Fielder's bat to a lineup that already features Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre would be one way to ensure that the Rangers are once again the AL West favorites.
And with deep pocketed new owners committed to building a long-term power in Arlington, they are already working on locking down their young talent long-term.
First up is Derek Holland, who emerged as a legitimate starter last season, going 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 198 innings.
Evan_P_Grant Evan GrantSources: Rangers working on five year deal with Derek Holland.
A five-year deal would keep the left-handed pitcher, still only 24 years old, under team control through his three years of arbitration as well as his first season of free agency.
Holland narrowly missed the "Super Two" designation given to elite young players that allows them to be eligible for arbitration, so he will make between $400-$500,000 this year if he does not sign an extension.
With the Texas Rangers letting free agent ace CJ Wilson leave for division rival Anaheim, rumors are swirling that they have targeted Japanese free agent pitcher Yu Darvish.
Darvish, a 25-year old right-hander, has dominated the Nippon Baseball League, putting up better numbers than Daisuke Matsuzaka did. In the last two seasons, he's allowed 314 hits and thrown 498 strikeouts to only 83 walks in 434 innings.
However, Matsuzaka's struggles in America have made many leery of Darvish. The Boston Red Sox posted $51.1 million to win exclusive bidding rights to sign Matsuzaka and then gave him a six-year $52 million contract.
That nine-figure investment has yielded a 49-30 record with a 4.25 ERA over 622 innings since 2007.
Darvish, at 6'5 215, is a much bigger pitcher than Matsuzaka (6'0 185), but there are questions about how he will hold up in MLB, especially considering how many innings he's thrown in Japan at such a young age.
In recent weeks, the Rangers, long considered one of the front-runners for Darvish, have been signalling a lack of interest, but according to a report from Yahoo! Sports writer Jeff Passan, many rival executives aren't buying:
The Texas Rangers, for example, have told rivals they’re cash-poor this offseason. A TV deal that will net them $80 million annually doesn’t kick in until 2015. The purchase price of the team for the ownership group – jacked up in an auction by Mark Cuban – wound up tens of millions of dollars higher than expected and sucked up the $90 million signing bonus Fox Sports delivered. And the TV contract itself wasn’t nearly as lucrative as Chuck Greenberg, the club’s deposed CEO, purported it to be.
To which one GM said: "Yeah, right."
And another executive said: "They’re sandbagging."
The posting process encourages deception, as teams have to submit blind bids to Darvish's NBL team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, with the highest bidder receiving a 30-day negotiating window with the star.
However, there's no guarantee Darvish comes over, and if he doesn't, all that money is lost.
Within baseball, estimates for the winning fee have ranged between $30-$70 million, with the Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays seen as the front-runners. However, it's always possible for a big market team to come swoop in at the last minute and blow everyone else away.
The posting process ends at 4PM Wednesday.
If you're waiting for the Texas Rangers to sign either Prince Fielder or Yu Darvish, stop waiting. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal believes that the Rangers simply do not have the money necessary to secure Fielder or Davrish's services, and that the Rangers are focusing on acquiring a starting pitcher via trade.
The Rangers are more focused on trading for a starting pitcher than signing free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder or even pursuing Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, according to major league sources.
The team's payroll flexibility, sources say, is not as significant as many in the industry previously believed. Thus, the Rangers are exploring more cost-effective moves for pitchers such as Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, Athletics lefty Gio Gonzalez and Rays righty Wade Davis.
As Rosenthal points out, Garza would require the largest financial commitment, as he is set to earn just under ten million dollars via arbitration. Garza will be arbitration eligible again following 2012, before being eligible for free agency following the 2013 season.
While the Texas Rangers have had to see C.J. Wilson walk out that door to a big payday in Anaheim, most of their focus this offseason has been on replenishing a deep pitching staff with an ace frontline starter. With no pitcher fitting the description available, the question has been asked in regards to redirecting focus towards a power position that's lacking...power in Texas.
And then there is (Prince) Fielder. President Nolan Ryan has said repeatedly that he doesn't see the Rangers being a fit for the first baseman, but all around the majors, Texas is viewed as the most natural option for the slugger, who would fit them in so many ways. Like Pujols, Fielder might be better served signing with an AL team because as he gets older, he could transition into a designated hitter.
Olney's thoughts on joining an already loaded Rangers lineup:
Fielder might drive in 140-150 runs a year in that lineup, on that team, and he would likely really enjoy being part of that group, which is similar to the excellent culture that the Milwaukee Brewers developed. But will the Rangers write the check, as they engage the Angels in an AL West version of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry? We'll see.
Its in Nolan Ryan's hands, just like the ball he held on the mound. Will he pitch for the power, or will he nibble the corners this off-season?
For the latest hot-stove news and analysis on the Texas Rangers, be sure to check out Lone Star Ball.
Jon Daniels and his staff certainly aren't wasting any time in trying to replace C.J. Wilson. ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted today that the Rangers are in talks with the Oakland A's regarding lefty starter Gio Gonzalez.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, the reported price tag is pretty steep:
Rangers are among teams talking Gio Gonzalez; two teams would seem to match up, with someone like lefty prospect Martin Perez.
Gonzalez has been a fine pitcher the past two seasons, posting WARs of 3.2 and 3.5 respectively. Gonzalez' strikeout rate went up in 2011 as well, increasing his K/9 from 7.67 in '10 to 8.78 in '11. Gonzalez' biggest problem though has been himself as his BB/9 each of the past two seasons has been north of four.
Gonzalez simply doesn't seem like the type of pitcher that's worth surrendering Perez for, especially inside the division. It's certainly quite strange that the Rangers would let Wilson leave to the Angels for five years and $75 million dollars, and then turning around and talking about trading Perez to replace Wilson.
It is entirely possible, though, that Olney is strictly talking out of his behind, and that the Rangers truly have no intention of giving up Perez for Gonzalez. Let's hope that's the case.
In one day - in the span of just a few hours, in fact - we found out that the Mavericks would lose Tyson Chandler to New York, Caron Butler to LA, that the other LA would be gifted Chris Paul, and that C.J Wilson would leave the Rangers to join Albert Pujols in LA. Worst (non-game) sports day ever?
With the Miami Marlins officially turning into the Miami Heat of baseball for the 2012 season, news has been reported that the Marlins will potentially be signing not one but two marquee free agent pitchers to solidify an already talented roster.
Wilson, Buehrle and Jose Reyes onto a loaded young roster full of talent like Hanley Ramirez, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton? Yikes. More on this story to come.
For the latest hot-stove news and analysis on the Texas Rangers, be sure to check out Lone Star Ball.
A day after being labeled -- and eliminated -- as a suitor for Albert Pujols, the Los Angeles Angels are closing in signing C.J. Wilson, who is the top starting pitcher available on the free agent market. According to Aiden Gonzalez, the Angels are "ramping up" their efforts to sign Wilson, hoping to have a deal done today.
Wilson's agent apparently met with the Rangers last night, and said that the meeting was "great" and that he was "pleasantly surprised." It's not a surprise that the Angels, who have been courting Wilson for some time, would step up their efforts on the heels of Wilson's "great" meeting with Rangers officials.
Wilson is believed to be seeking at least a five or six year deal. He has drawn interest from other teams as well, notably the Nationals and Marlins. It appears unlikely that the Rangers will offer six years to Wilson, so he could very well be on his way out of Arlington in the coming days, if not hours.
Ken Rosenthal says that we should expect Yu Darvish to be posted after baseball’s winter meetings.
Another scout who covers Japanese baseball says that Hokkaido badly wants to collect the posting fee on Darvish — and was stunned and disappointed when he chose to return to the team last season.
Hokkaido had planned to post Darvish, the scout said, and when the pitcher chose to stay in Japan, the team had to scramble to squeeze his $4.2 million salary into its budget.
Jon Daniels made a scouting trip to Japan during the season and saw Darvish pitch in person. There has been speculation that Darvish tops the Rangers’ wish list – ahead of CJ Wilson. Daniels and his lieutenants, however, keep their plans very close to the vest. Whether the Rangers are interested or not, Darvish would become one more prime starting pitcher on the market.
To discuss the possibility of the Rangers pursuing the Japanese free agent to-be, check out Lone Star Ball.
It doesn't look like the Rangers are preparing to make a big splash in free agency this winter. Per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Nolan Ryan has said that the Rangers are unlikely to pursue either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, who are likely to command long tern, nine figure contracts this winter.
The Rangers are confident in Mitch Moreland, and believe some his struggles last season were related to a wrist injury he battled through the second half. Moreland batted .272 with 11 home runs and 24 RBIs in the first half compared to a .241 average with five home runs and 27 RBIs in the second half.
"We truly believe Mitch's career is ahead of him," said Ryan, who attended the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation Gala that honored Rangers co-chairman and majority owner Bob Simpson on Thursday night at Ridglea Country Club.
If the Rangers truly do believe in Moreland and aren't simply posturing, then it would be foolish to invest over a hundred million in Fielder and probably over two hundred million for Pujols.
The other top five free agents available, according to Keith Law, are Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Jimmy Rollins. Yu Darvish is ranked ahead of all of that trio, but is not guaranteed to be posted. With the Rangers set at shortstop, it just doesn't seem likely that the Rangers are going to break the bank this winter, at least via free agency.
Another day, another rumor in the baseball free agent frenzy. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Texas Rangers are interested in free agent starting pitcher Mark Buehrle. Rosenthal also states that the Florida (soon to be Miami) Marlins, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are all interested in Buehrle as well.
Buehrle, at the least, has been the definition of durable in his career. Since 2001, he has pitched at least 200 innings in each season. In 2011, Buehrle went 13-9 with the White Sox, pitching 205 and 1/3 innings, with a 3.59 ERA and xFIP of 4.14. Buehrle struck out only 109 batters on the season.
Buehrle has spent his entire career thus far with the White Sox.
It's unknown how heavy Texas' interest in Buehrle is. Rosenthal says that the competition to sign Buehrle is "intense", and if that's the case, then the Rangers are likely better off stay away from Buehrle.
When you win two consecutive AL pennants, everyone in your organization, not just your players, becomes a target for other franchises envious of your success. When the Dallas Cowboys won two consecutive Super Bowls in the early 1990's, their two coordinators -- Norv Turner and Dave Wanstedt -- suddenly became the two hottest names in the NFL coaching carousel.
Maddux became the pitching coach in 2009, helping to orchestrate an organizational pitching policy instituted by team president Nolan Ryan that put less of an emphasis on pitch counts.
Texas' pitching has steadily improved in Maddux's tenure in Arlington, with the 2011 regular season being his most notable accomplishment. The three young starters at the back of the rotation -- Alexi Ogando, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison -- all had ERA's under 4.00 in the notoriously hitter-friendly Ballpark in Arlington and threw over 160 innings without a serious injury.
"It's come upon our family and me quickly," he wrote in a text message to reporters, as he is currently recovering from laryngitis. "Just last week we were in the World Series, and managing another club was not on the game plan. Pitching and defense are considered the foundation of a winning team. The better you pitch and catch, the better the chance of winning. With that being said, I guess being a pitching coach is a level away from managing."
While Maddux is still under contract with the Rangers next season as a pitching coach, it's a long-standing policy within the organization that personnel are free to leave for a better job in baseball.
Wilson's struggles in October are unlikely to affect his market value in a thin pool of free-agent pitchers.
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