1:30 AM Update: Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Torii Hunter has signed a five year, $90 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Wow. Much more on this latest twist to the hot stove season tomorrow.
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Greetings from Round Rock, Texas - the home of Nolan Ryan's Double-A Express, Dell Incorporated and countless brand new strip malls.
The busiest travel day of the year yielded little in the way of new developments on the Torii Hunter front - the latest update from MLB.com's Scott Merkin on Tuesday evening indicated that Hunter was not going to allot much time towards answering the pressing question of where he'll be playing baseball for the five or six years until after Thanksgiving:
"Not by the end of this week. I know that for a fact," said Hunter on Tuesday, when asked for a timetable of when he may sign a new lucrative deal. "It could be the end of next week, and it's not necessarily with the White Sox.
"I'm actually trying to weigh my options and think about a couple of other things," Hunter added.
Meanwhile, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Wednesday that the Chicago White Sox were believed to be Torii's first choice, despite the fact that there are at least five teams in the running for his services (the Rangers, White Sox, Dodgers, Royals and Nationals) - and despite the fact that the Rangers are the only team among that group to have offered Hunter a six-year contract, which is believed to be worth just under $15 million per season.
Wittenmyer also notes that the always formidable New York Yankees could jump into the Hunter sweepstakes, should they successfully trade center fielder Melky Cabrera by early next week. But assuming that the Rangers have indeed offered Hunter something in the range of a six-year contract worth a guaranteed $87.5 million, it's beginning to appear that Texas may be in the driver's seat.
And that scares the heck out of me. But hey, T.R. Sullivan likes the idea! At least he throws an obligatory jab at the loudmouthed Dale Hansen in the process.
Finally, Texas signed infielder Ramon Vazquez to a one-year contract worth $810,000 on Wednesday afternoon, virtually assuring the 31-year-old utilityman a spot on the Rangers' 2008 squad:
"As a left-handed hitter who can play all four infield positions, Ramon is a valuable utility player," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "Last year, he stepped up when a large void was created by [third baseman Hank Blalock's] injury."
So much for that idea of using German Duran in a utility infielder role next year, I guess. Vazquez hit .230/.300/.373 with 8 HR in 300 AB for the Rangers in 2007, with over two-thirds of those at-bats coming at third base. Not a particularly great signing, for obvious reasons, but at this late hour it's hard to say just how bad this is.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.