Isn't winter weather in North Texas fun?
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11:55 P.M. - The Yankees signed free-agent left-hander Andy Pettitte to a one-year, $5.5 million deal laden with $6.5 million in attainable performance bonuses, effectively ending their pursuit of Ben Sheets (Ken Rosenthal, FOXSports.com)
[Coincidentally, after SI.com's Jon Heyman reportedly stated on MLB Network's "Hot Stove" on Monday evening that the Brewers and Rangers were interested in free-agent left-hander Oliver Perez, Tuesday brought word from Newsday's Anthony Rieber that the Mets had moved "a little bit closer" to re-signing Perez.
Keep your fingers crossed that they keep moving in that direction.]
11:40 P.M. CST - According to a team source, Texas would deal catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia straight up for right-hander Clay Buchholz (Jim Reeves, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
[And this deviates from what we've known for several months how, exactly?]
11:30 P.M. CST - Right-hander John Bannister (No. 30 prospect in the Rangers organization according to industry publication Baseball America) would rank No. 7 in the Astros organization, and catcher Taylor Teagarden (No. 6 prospect in the Rangers organization, again according to Baseball America) would rank ahead of the Astros' No. 1 prospect, Jason Castro, who was selected with the 10th-overall pick of the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft (Jim Callis, Baseball America)
[Did Castro address an organizational weakness for the Astros? Sure. But there's a good reason why the phrase "best player available" is tossed around with such great frequency come draft time.]
6:25 P.M. CST - According to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle (per KGOW 1560 AM), "the contract terms the Rangers are looking at with [free-agent right-hander] Ben Sheets" are two years and $20 million (Adam J. Morris, Lone Star Ball)
[MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported yesterday that Sheets's representative, Casey Close, was still seeking at least two guaranteed years for his fireballing client, while the Rangers remained reluctant to go beyond one guaranteed year with a possible second-year club option. Discussions are presumably ongoing.]
5:30 P.M. CST - Texas is reportedly close to averting a potential salary arbitration hearing with outfielder Marlon Byrd, as Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine continues to have "good conversations" with Byrd's representative, Sam Levinson; Byrd is asking for $3.6 million in 2009, while the Rangers are offering $2.7 million (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)
[It's been noted many times already, but it nevertheless bears repeating: Texas hasn't gone to arbitration with one of its players since 2000 (Lee Stevens), and the possibility of the two sides taking their respective cases before a three-person panel of professional arbitrators next month was never remotely realistic.
If 2009 is Byrd's final season in a Rangers uniform, his tenure in Texas will have been a massively successful one. Procured from the scrap heap in December 2006 after a lackluster stint in Washington and swiftly inked to a minor league deal, Byrd was designated for assignment on April 1st, 2007, but ultimately cleared waivers, and he hasn't stopped hitting since. In the time that has passed since his promotion back to the majors in late May 2007, Byrd has amassed a whopping 6.1 wins above replacement through his renascent offensive approach and quality outfield glovework.]