Friday Newsletter time: 12 hours after saying hello to four newcomers, Texas Rangers can't say anything to them at all
The owners-imposed lockout prohibits club employees from speaking to players on the 40-man roster, and even talking about them.
The situation wasn’t lost on any of the four newest Texas Rangers.
They signed their contract Wednesday with their new team, were introduced as key components of the future, and less than 12 hours later couldn’t even talk to Rangers officials, coaches and support staff.
It’s the result of the lockout MLB owners imposed on the players association at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday night after the sides failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement before the 10:59 CST deadline.
Teams are not permitted to have any contact with players on the 40-man roster. If a 40-man player breaks his ankle, he can’t even call his team’s training staff.
I hope he has a good primary care physician.
Not only can they not talk to the players, they can’t even talk about them. Any quotes that appear at the Newsletter from a Rangers official or manager Chris Woodward will be leftovers from Wednesday’s press conferences.
“It's funny. You sign up. The next day, shut out,” shortstop Corey Seager said. “But they've been great. They've been up front with me from the start. I know what to expect from them. They know what to expect from me. They know I'm going to come prepared and know I want to be prepared.”
It probably won’t be as big of a deal for the quartet, who are veterans and have an understanding of what they need to do to prepare for a season. Outfielder Kole Calhoun might have been the biggest concern after health issues in 2021, but the MRIs taken during his physical were all clean.
The veterans have enough of a network familiar with the Metroplex — second baseman Marcus Semien and former Rangers manager Ron Washington, for instance — that they will more easily be able to find their way toward a new place to live.
The younger players who have been so reliant on the coaching staff and training staff might find navigating the lockout to be a little more difficult, but the Rangers identified areas of improvement and gave workout objectives toward the end of the season and have been in communication since then.
But it’s unusual, to say the least.
“It's something that I've never experienced,” Calhoun said. “But I've been doing this for a while. I know what I need to do personally, and so I think I'll be able to handle that.
Of note when looking at how the Rangers structured the contracts of their three biggest signees is how the Rangers managed to sign to top-of-the-market players without including opt-out clauses.
Semien seemed surprised Wednesday at his news conference that anyone would even ask about it.
“I haven't really thought about that,” he said. “The deal is seven years.”
Here’s guessing Scott Boras thought about it.
Also, here’s a breakdown of the contracts of the Rangers’ three biggest signees, Seager, Semien and right-hander Jon Gray.
Seager — 10 years, $325 million: $5 million signing bonus; 2022: $32.5 million; 2023, $35 million; 2024, $34.5 million; 2025, $32 million; 2026-2031, $31 million. No opt outs. Limited no-trade protection.
Semien — seven years, $175 million: 2022, $25 million; 2023-2027, $26 million; 2028, 20 million. No opt outs.
Gray — four years, $56 million: 2022-2023, $15 million; 2024-2025, $13 million.
For those wondering, Calhoun signed a one-year deal worth $5.2 million with a $5.5 million club option for 2023.
Card of the Week
It would seem only fitting that one of the Rangers’ newcomers be featured as Card of the Week, and, voila, I’ve got you covered.
This is the only rookie card of the four I have. Looks like I better invest in the 2016 Bowman set (Seager, Gray) and the 2012 Bowman or Topps Update (Calhoun) sets.
Fortunately, I have Semien’s 2014 Bowman rookie card. My son will take it.
The card serves as a reminder that Semien did not start his career with the Oakland A’s. The Chicago White Sox selected him in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB Draft, and he was in the majors two years later.
Chicago sent him to Oakland, his hometown, in 2014 for Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa, a hot-shot prospect the Rangers missed on a few years earlier. Chris Bassitt was also part of the A’s haul, and don’t be surprised if Bassitt is traded this offseason.
The Rangers would like to add another starter. Hmm … .
Me next week when I’ve run out of content to write about but have to find ways to keep cranking out the Newsletter every day. Enjoy. See you Monday.