I like to think that this track would work pretty well as a theme song for Yu Darvish:
● Jeff Wilson says that the Rangers won't be lured into an acquisitions war with the Angels, and that the Rangers prefer to keep their financial flexibility so that they can retain their "core players" and are also disinclined to move their top prospects.
● Mac Engel writes that the Angels were stupid to throw that much money at Pujols and Wilson. Then again, he also says that Wilson is a "solid No. 3 starter." That makes my head hurt, and it's misleading statements like those from guys who wield high-visibliity platforms that fuels the general public's belief that, no, Wilson really isn't that good after all.
● One senior baseball executive told MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan that he has a gut feeling the Rangers are going to be involved on Prince Fielder before all is said and done.
● Richard Durrett has the details on C.J. Wilson's contract:
2012: $10 million, plus a $2.5 million signing bonus
2013: $11 million
2014: $16 million
2015: $18 million
2016: $20 million
Remember, kids -- backloaded deals are your friend.
● Yesterday was the No. 2 traffic day in BBTiA history. Either misery loves company, or we're doing something right. Or both.
● Behind the DMN paywall, Evan Grant says that the Angels' free-agent spending spree could come back to hurt them in the long run. Tim Cowlishaw says that the Pujols/Wilson signings put the Angels on level footing with the Rangers. Gerry Fraley says -- or his editor says that he's saying -- that Wilson will never fit the profile of a top-ranked starter, which is all well and good ... except that he already was a top-ranked starter in both 2010-11, which renders that statement patently false.
Outside the DMN paywall, Kevin Sherrington writes that the Rangers need to make some kind of a move.
● The New York Times' David Waldstein says that many baseball executives believe Yu Darvish could end up with the Rangers. Evan Grant counterargues that if the Darvish auction plays out the same way the Dice-K auction played out five years ago, we shouldn't expect the Rangers to be the team negotiating with him:
While the Rangers have some money available to improve the club, it doesn't appear that they are willing to invest $100 million or more on a single player to try and do it. The Rangers did not get involved with Albert Pujols. They aren't likely to get involved with Prince Fielder, unless his market totally dissolved. They weren't willing to go to $75-80 million on C.J. Wilson to keep him.
Sources have indicated the Rangers simply aren't willing to make a $100 million gamble that may limit future flexibility. Especially since Darvish is unproven.
The club is more focused at this point on solidifying it's core talent to long-term deals and will try to improve the depth of the roster in free agency. As far as any big upgrades, particularly, for the rotation, it is more likely the team will continue exploring trades.
And, you (yu) know, I don't think that abstaining from pursuing Darvish and retaining that financial flexibility is necessarily a bad thing ... but I do think a lot of long-time Rangers fans attach a very negative connotation to the term "financial flexibility" dating back to the Tom Hicks era, and I think that may be driving at least a very small part of the general discontent within the fan base right now.
That, and abstaining from the market in order to lock in your own guys isn't a very sexy counter to your biggest divisional opponent commiting upwards of $300 million to the best pitcher and hitter on the open market in the same day.
Jon Daniels, however, says that the Rangers aren't planning to counterpunch the Angels, and that they're continuing to work within the parameters that were already in place well in advance of the winter meetings.
● The Cardinals lost scouting director Jeff Luhnow to the Astros on Thursday, thereby ending the "OMG WHO'S GOING TO BE THEIR GM?!" game. For what it's worth, Keith Law described this as an excellent hire on Twitter earlier, and I did notice somewhere that Luhnow expects to keep manager Brad Mills within the club's employ for the time being, but I'm not motivated enough to find links to that stuff right now because, hell, it's the Astros who cares in fact I don't even care enough to finish this senten
● K-Rod trolled the hell out of the Brewers by accepting their offer of arbitration even though they expected him to decline, and he'll now bank upwards of $13 million next season.
● Texas acquired middle infielder Greg Miclat from the Orioles to complete the Taylor Teagarden trade.
● Maury Brown says we all should have seen the Angels coming. Drew Davison has a story about Scott Servais being happy in his new role. Alright screw it I don't have enough left in me to finish compiling links time to pitch myself off the top of Reunion Towe-