Monday Newsletter time: That money you weren't sure Texas Rangers would spend this offseason? Well, they're spending it.
They agreed with three free agents Sunday, including infielder Marcus Semien for $175 million and right-hander Jon Gray for $56.
Somewhere between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and the 11:59 p.m. Wednesday deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement, it just felt like the Texas Rangers would do something.
They did, three times, on Make a Move Sunday.
For those waiting to see if the Rangers were actually going to spend all that money they said was available, there’s your proof.
Semien is the big one, agreeing for seven years and $175 million. He is the first of the Big Five free-agent shortstops to sign, but it isn’t abundantly clear if he will actually play shortstop.
He played second base last season for the Toronto Blue Jays, launching 45 home runs and winning a Gold Glove. The word was that he wanted to return to shortstop, where he played his entire career until 2021.
Semien could very well play there in 2022, unseating Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but a few reports indicated that the Rangers could sign one of the remaining four shortstops.
Gray might come as a surprise, though he isn’t breaking the bank at four years and $56 million. That’s about half the money and only one fewer year than the Blue Jays are giving Kevin Gausman.
Gray, who is from Oklahoma, has pitched his entire career in Colorado, so it will be interesting to see how his numbers translate at pitcher-friendly Globe Life Field. However, Gray actually has better career splits at home than on the road.
Don’t expect for Calhoun to receive more than a one-year contract. He’s a Gold Glove-winning right fielder and hit 33 homers in 2019, but he endured an injury-plagued 2021 with Arizona.
(Update: The agreement with Calhoun is a one-year deal worth $5.2 million with a club option for 2023 for $5 million. No buyout.)
He’s a veteran, something the Rangers were short on last season, and he’s a left-handed hitter, something the Rangers had the potential to be short on next season.
All players meet the Rangers’ 2022 checklist — they make the Rangers better and also provide leadership and ability to take a load of the prospects who should be coming up.
If you thought Monday was busy across baseball — the Rangers weren’t the only team to spend money — just for these next few days.
Teams and players could be rushing to sign contracts before the late Wednesday CBA deadline. If there isn’t a new CBA, owners could lock out players beginning Thursday and all baseball business would freeze.
There has been no indication that there won’t be a stoppage, though both sides have been relatively quiet in leaking to their media sources. Considering the contracts handed out Sunday, it’s going to be another black eye for baseball to squabble with so much money.
And more will be handed out ahead of the deadline.
It’s entirely possible the Rangers are among the clubs handing it out.
A couple more things:
Subscribers received a sneak peak into how the Texas Rangers Newsletter sausage is made Sunday morning when the Monday newsletter appeared in their inboxes. It was half-done, and the headline read “Monday Newsletter time: xxxxxxx.” It was a silly mistake on my end, made in part because I was trying to get a head start on a busy work week.
Why busy? Well, the Rangers possibly signing players and the potential lockout will keep me pumping. So will the return of the Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast after a break for Thanksgiving. Something else is afoot that will eventually be a boon for the Newsletter and the Podcast, and it’s starting to come together this week. Stay tuned for updates on that.
Thanksgiving was Thursday. Friday was Black Friday. Saturday and Sunday might have been travel days. The point is, here’s the latest from the Texas Rangers in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Jack Leiter update
Friday on the Farm: Looking for the top shortstops in the system
T.R.’s Memoirs: The road to trading Alex Rodriguez
They eyes have it. Enjoy. See you Tuesday.