I'm going to go ahead and resist the temptation to beat you all down any further with Christmas music this morning:
● Richard Durrett talks to Mike Napoli about the state of his ankle, Yu Darvish, and where the Angels are right now, as well as his willingness to remain a part of the Rangers' organization for the long haul:
"I definitely want to be here for the rest of my career, to tell you the truth," Napoli said. "Just coming from another organization and then coming to the Rangers organization, I think I fit in well. I’m really comfortable and I feel like we can win for a long time."
● Drew Davison writes about the Rangers cutting bait with a small collection of minor leaguers, including 2006 first-rounder Kasey Kiker. The story goes that Texas was fully prepared to grab Tim Lincecum with the 12th-overall pick in that draft, but the Giants grabbed him at No. 10, and Texas ended up going with Kiker two picks later -- a disappointing result, especially when you consider that Kiker never ascended to the upper prospect tiers that could have still rendered him a valuable trade commodity. Lacking projection and poor results closed off that possibility, and now here we are.
● Jim Bowden tweeted the other day that sources close to Prince Fielder continue to insist that both the Blue Jays and the Rangers are "in" on him, and suggests that one of the reasons why Texas should still be considered a contender for Fielder is because the Rangers received $180 million upfront from their massive television deal.
● The Nationals landed Gio Gonzalez, albeit for a quite steep price. The Cardinals landed Carlos Beltran on a two-year, $26 million deal. And all hell is breaking loose in Metsland, as the Wilpons desperately seek minority owners who will help them pay down some of the enormous debt that has a stranglehold on the team:
“The Wilpons have a situation in terms of medium-term debt that’s totally unsustainable,” Megdal says. “They owe $430 million in principal against their team, due back in 2014. They owe $450 million in principal due back to (TV network) SNY in June of 2015. And then they owe $25 million every six months against Citi Field. They need these minority investors right now in order to be paying short-term bills that are essentially structured as loans.”