Much buzz today over a former Ranger who we thought was going to be a current Blue Jay, and a former Indian who may be a future Ranger...
Rod Barajas will not be going to Toronto, and according to Richard Griffin, the player's union is to blame:
Well if Zaun is Dangerfield, then Barajas is Darrin Fletcher. That's not as Hollywood reference, it's a baseball reference. Back in '97, the popular Fletcher, then with the Expos, became a free agent and decided that he would take happiness over money. Instead of playing hardball, Fletcher accepted a Jays contract offer to remain in Canada, a country he had been thrilled with as a place to bring up his family. Good for Darrin. Bad for the players' association.
At the time, nine years ago, Fletcher took less than market value for a starting catcher. That was the worst thing in the world for every agent representing a starting catcher. Barajas made the same mistake in the eyes of the union, accepting, as a free agent, an offer that was less money than he had earned in his final year with the Rangers.
According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, Barajas has changed agents and refused to fly to Toronto for his physical, with the result being that the Blue Jays have agreed in principle with Gregg Zaun on a 2 year, $7 million deal.
The Toronto Star has a similar report:
Barajas, whose two-year deal was reportedly worth $5.25 million, balked at reporting to Toronto for a physical, which had been all that was left to validate the deal.
Barajas, though, was not in any jeopardy of failing the physical.
It's believed the money he settled for became an issue for both the player, and indirectly, the Major League Baseball players' association.
Barajas, playing out his contract, earned $3.2 million with Texas in 2006.
The deal he apparently accepted Sunday represented a pay cut.
Terry Bross, the agent for Barajas, did not return messages.
Sources in Texas said that while Barajas was pleased to be joining the Jays as their No.1 catcher, the money made him balk at the physical and thereby nullify the deal.
Barajas was not "driven" by the players' association into killing his own deal, sources said.
On Sunday, though, Zaun said he was "shocked that (Barajas) would have taken a pay cut to sign ..."
Bizarre. And this could end up turning around and biting Barajas, because there aren't a whole lot of teams out there looking for starting catchers right now. And most teams don't want to pay their backup catcher $3.2 million for one season.
The bad news for the Rangers is that, with Barajas unlikely to sign prior to the December 1 deadline for offering arbitration, and the Rangers unlikely to offer arbitration, there's probably no compensatory pick for losing Barajas.
And then there's Manny...
Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe says that the Angels and Rangers are unlikely to get a deal done for Manny, because the BoSox want Michael Young in the deal (even though, Edes says, they've accepted that they aren't going to get him), and Anaheim doesn't want to deal what the BoSox want, and are set in the outfield and DH anyway.
According to the Boston Herald, though, the Rangers and Angels have been the most "inquisitive" about Manny, but the Herald claims that the Rangers are more focused on Vernon Wells, and are more willing to deal Michael Young to get Wells than Manny. A Young for Wells trade doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, to me...
Personally, though, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Rangers end up with Ramirez.
Jan Hubbard has a piece on Adam Eaton's departure, with Eaton saying that the Rangers never made him a formal offer, and having this to say about the Phillies' offer:
"I knew what the market was going to be," he said. "If you end the year healthy, then you go into spring training healthy and the market is what it is. This was the best offer on the table. There was a lot of interest and there were other offers out there, but this one was a no-brainer."
It sounds like the Phillies' offer may have been significantly more than any of the other offers out there for Eaton...
T.R. Sullivan has an item on Jon Daniels' reaction to the Rangers' free agent departures. He doesn't sound too devastated that the Rangers couldn't lock up these guys for the prices they went for.