We're on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings and surprisingly--though probably not all that surprising--the majority of action from Day 1 revolved around the Rangers. Early yesterday former Ranger Mike Napoli signed with the Boston Red Sox and we were bummed. Then, later in the afternoon, the Rangers signed reliever Joakim Soria and we were glad.
Jeff Wilson writes about the first day of the meetings and the Rangers adding Soria to the 'pen. He also has some details on Geovany Soto's new deal. Soria will receive $8 mil over two years (with some reports saying the Rangers have an option on a third year). Soto is due $2.75 mil with another $250K possible in incentives.
Richard Durrett submits his Day 1 Stove Summary with information on the Soria and Soto deals as well as an update on the Greinke/Hamilton markets, the bullpen, and confirmation from Ranger doctors that Jurickson Profar is only dealing with mild inflammation in his forearm.
T.R. Sullivan writes that Josh Hamilton is on the minds of the Rangers' brass at the meetings, even though the club might not meet with him this week. Sullivan thinks the club is possibly ready to make Hamilton an offer but they are still waiting for Hamilton to gauge the market with other teams. Sullivan also touches on the Greinke/starting pitcher picture and the possibility for Ian Kinsler to move to first base, instead of left field, should he move positions this winter.
Keith Whitmire has a piece on the loss of Mike Napoli. It's tough to see Napoli leave, especially for essentially the same contract the Rangers offered him last winter, but as Whitmire writes, the Rangers wouldn't have been signing the 2011 version of Napoli, anyway.
Trying his damnedest to make me like him, Durrett has quotes from Soto about returning to the Rangers with Soto saying he wanted to return because he feels like he has unfinished business and wants to prove his worth.
But wait, even though we heard rumors yesterday that the Phillies were interested, Sullivan is here to squash those rumors before they even begin in his Winter Meetings Notebook. Jon Daniels on the topic of putting Michael Young on the trading block:
"I learned my lesson two years ago," Daniels said. "It didn't work out the last time. That's not something we're pursuing."
Also in Sullivan's notes: The Rangers aren't finished looking for help at catcher and are still trying to re-sign Koji Uehara.
But wait once again, Joey Matches writes about Daniels' Young quotes and deduces that it sounds mostly like an inelegant response to an impossible question. As always, knowing what we know about this organization, if something comes along that the front office feels would improve the team, they'd do it. Matschulat posits that all Daniels is really saying is that the Rangers aren't actively shopping Young because Young is the baseball trade value equivalent to expensive organic milk that is past its sell-by date.
The DMN continues their potential Rangers' targets series with a look at Shane Victorino of whom I'm hopeful that the Rangers wouldn't have much interest in because that would mean we're probably looking at like plan F.
Finally, here's an article that I found from the Reykjavik Grapevine--written in June--by Cory Weinberg about the only baseball club in Iceland, featuring Icelandic baseball player Steindór Steindórsson, whose favorite MLB team is the Texas Rangers. I feel for you, Steindór. Your heart is with baseball in a land dominated by handball whereas my heart is with handball in a land dominated by...well, football. But you get my point.