Contrary my original line of thought, yesterday Team President Jon Daniels said the Rangers will tender Leonys Martin a contract this winter. During the postseason, Leonys made news for refusing an assignment to continuing working at the team's complex in Surprise, AZ, in case he would be needed in a later series. As it turns out, the move to tender a contract simply states that this is a business decision, and paying Martin ~$5 million is a cheap way to retain a guy who has proven to be valuable in the past. He will be 28 on Opening Day.
By tomorrow, we'll know whether or not Yovani Gallardo accepted his 1 year, $15.8 million qualifying offer. Jon Daniels maintains publicly that the club will try to bring back one of Gallardo or free agent RHP Colby Lewis, but based on the track record that no player has ever accepted the QO* -- and that Yovani stands on the open market to sign for more money and more years than the Rangers are probably comfortable going -- Colby seems far more realistic.
Heading into today's Arizona Fall League game, Jurickson Profar was hitting .260/.344/.500 (116 wRC+) with 2 HRs, and as many walks as he had strikeouts (8). These are all positive, if only brief, reminders of the type of talent Jurickson is -- that he could essentially miss two full years of baseball action during such a critical stage of his development, and come out of the gates so strong. As Keith Law mentioned in a brief scouting report from seeing him: Profar's body remains in excellent shape, and he looked fine when standing at shortstop in batting practice, handling grounders but just flipping them to other fielders rather than making regular throws to the first baseman. His bat speed is totally intact, and despite the injury to his right shoulder, his left-handed swing was unrestricted in BP and during the game. All four balls he put in play were hard-hit and came on fastballs 93 mph or above.
Today the Braves traded away perhaps its most valuable position player, Andrelton Simmons, to the Angels for shortstop Erick Aybar, LHP Sean Newcomb, RHP Chris Ellis and about $3 million. This is an interesting move from both directions. The Braves are trying to retool to focus on Opening Day 2017 when its new ballpark opens, which makes me wonder why they would want to trade a star defender playing on a cheap 5-year, $53 million contract; the Angels, meanwhile, have holes they need to fill elsewhere, and chose to upgrade a position that wasn't in dire need of one (like 3rd base, or left field, for instance). Out of an already dormant farm system, Anaheim shipped away its two-best pitching prospects.
*This morning while I began writing this, it was in fact that no player had ever accepted the qualifying offer. By about 4:30 PM Pacific Time, when I picked it back up to finish, that has changed. According to Ken Rosenthal, Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus will become the first in history to accept the one-year deal, and will be under contract with Houston for $15.8 million in 2016.