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Rangers acquire Moore from Giants

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have acquired left-handed pitcher Matt Moore and $750,000 in international bonus pool money from the Giants, the club announced.

The Rangers paid a nominal price in prospects, giving up Minor League right-handed pitchers Sam Wolff and Israel Cruz. Neither were among the Rangers' top 30 prospects according to MLBPipeline.com. The Rangers will assume all of Moore's $9 million contract for 2018. Moore also has a club option of $10 million for 2019 with a $750,000 buyout.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have acquired left-handed pitcher Matt Moore and $750,000 in international bonus pool money from the Giants, the club announced.

The Rangers paid a nominal price in prospects, giving up Minor League right-handed pitchers Sam Wolff and Israel Cruz. Neither were among the Rangers' top 30 prospects according to MLBPipeline.com. The Rangers will assume all of Moore's $9 million contract for 2018. Moore also has a club option of $10 million for 2019 with a $750,000 buyout.

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The trade was designed to clear payroll for the Giants while the Rangers are counting on a comeback from a starting pitcher who was once headed for top-of-the-rotation status before being derailed by an elbow injury.

"He is a young, 28-year-old left-hander," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Despite not having his best year last year, he is coming off pitching almost 400 innings the past two years. He's got a four-pitch mix and has had some success in both leagues."

Moore was 6-15 with a 5.52 ERA in 31 starts and one relief appearance for the Giants this past season. The 15 losses were tied for the most in the National League and the ERA was also the highest.

"We feel like there are some reasons why we feel he will bounce back," Daniels said. "I talked to him tonight, he has a good mindset and is really driven to bounce back."

Video: COL@SF: Moore whiffs six over six-plus shutout frames

Moore was once a top prospect for the Rays and considered a future star. He was 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 27 starts for the Rays in 2013 and was named to the American League All-Star team. He was just 24 years old.

But he made just two starts in 2014 before coming down with elbow problems that led to Tommy John reconstruction surgery. Moore returned to full strength in 2016 and made a career-high 33 starts, finishing 13-12 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

The Rays traded him to the Giants on Aug. 1, 2016. The Rangers also tried to trade for him at the same time. Although he fell off last season, he stayed healthy all year and pitched 174 1/3 innings after 198 1/3 the year before.

"The circumstances have allowed us to pick him up for a little bit less than in the past," Daniels said.

The Rangers now have five veteran starters in Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Mike Minor, Doug Fister and Moore. There is still a possibility Minor could pitch in the bullpen and Matt Bush could be converted into a starter. But Daniels said the intention right now is for Minor to stretch out as a starter.

The Rangers could add more starting pitching before the offseason is over, but it is more likely to be for depth rather than a front-line starter. But they are starting to push the limits of the financial resources they had planned to use toward starting pitching this winter.

As much as the Rangers may have flirted with Zack Greinke or Jake Arrieta at the Winter Meetings, those possibilities appear dead. Any potential reunion with Yu Darvish is also fading away.

"I have been pretty consistent all along in saying we weren't going to be playing at the top of the market," Daniels said.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers, Matt Moore

Martin feels right at home in Rangers' bullpen

Arlington native returns to Majors after up-and-down career
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Chris Martin wanted to pitch and play baseball again, but he didn't have the registration fee required to try out with the independent Grand Prairie AirHogs.

"I almost left the tryout," Martin recalled on Friday at a media conference introducing him as the newest member of the club's bullpen.

ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Chris Martin wanted to pitch and play baseball again, but he didn't have the registration fee required to try out with the independent Grand Prairie AirHogs.

"I almost left the tryout," Martin recalled on Friday at a media conference introducing him as the newest member of the club's bullpen.

"There were a hundred guys there. It was fifty bucks for the tryout and I didn't have fifty bucks in my pocket to pay for it."

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Fortunately, Martin knew Luke Prihoda, who was one of the AirHogs pitchers. Prihoda had suggested the tryout, knowing how good Martin was before he blew out his shoulder and spent three years working in warehouses, moving refrigerators and driving trucks.

"I told the lady, I was not going to be able to do this, but I told her I knew Luke Prihoda," Martin said. "She knew the name. She said go ahead and do the tryout."

This was in the summer of 2010 and the AirHogs, 15 minutes down the freeway from Globe Life Park, were managed by former Rangers outfielder Pete Incaviglia. He watched Martin throw his fastball and pulled the 6-foot-7 pitcher aside.

"We need to get you a uniform," Incaviglia said.

The tryout changed Martin's life. Working for Lowe's Home Improvement, UPS and Texas Appliances was over. He was back on a professional baseball path that would lead him to Boston, Colorado, New York, and Japan, and now he is poising for pictures wearing a Rangers jersey in his hometown.

Martin, 31, was born here and pitched at Arlington High before being taken in the 18th round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Tigers.

"It is a dream come true," Martin said. "I grew up my whole life watching the Rangers, idolizing Nolan Ryan. Driving up today and seeing the stadium ... is a really awesome experience."

Martin did not sign with the Tigers when he was first drafted. Instead, he went to McLennan Junior College in Waco, Texas, and was selected by the Rockies in the 21st round of the 2005 Draft. Again, he didn't sign. Martin went back for his sophomore year and with plans to move on to the University of Texas or Oklahoma.

Instead, Martin came down with a torn labrum in his shoulder and the dream of pitching in the Major Leagues vanished. Dr. Keith Meister performed the surgery, but a subsequent tryout with the independent Fort Worth Cats went nowhere. Martin appeared to be done. The next three years were spent in trucks and warehouses. Athletic glory was limited to slow-pitch softball.

"It has been a blur, a whirlwind for sure, going through what I have gone through," Martin said. "It is definitely a humbling experience ... a huge part of my drive to push myself to get to where I am today. "I always had something in the back of my mind ... seeing guys I played with making their MLB debuts. I'm thinking, man I was right there with those guys. I know I am good enough if I can get the shoulder healthy and figure out a way to get back in there into it. I think I have a good chance."

Video: Martin signs with Rangers after playing in Japan

Martin pitched in 13 games for the AirHogs, going 4-0 with 1.96 ERA. Incaviglia convinced Red Sox scout Jaymie Bane to look at Martin.

The Red Sox agreed, but Martin had to pay his own way to Fort Myers, Fla., in the spring of 2011. His father, Matt Martin, paid for the trip and the tryout was held at the Red Sox spring facility with Bane among the club officials watching.

"It was nerve-racking," Martin said. "All of the front office guys standing behind the cage watching me throw."

The Red Sox were impressed when Martin hit 93-94 mph on the radar gun.

"When he threw, it wasn't even the velocity," Bane told Scott Miller of Bleacher Report. "It was how easy he was doing it, and the angle was he creating. But he didn't even know where to stand on the rubber. There was a suggestion to go to the third-base side of the rubber, and his angle got a little better."

The Red Sox signed him, but with no promises. Bane made it clear that Martin had to make a quick impression.

Martin did. He spent three years working his way through the Red Sox farm system, and then he was traded to the Rockies on Dec. 18, 2013. Martin made his Major League debut on April 26, and he pitched in 16 games for the Rockies that season before being sold to the Yankees.

Martin pitched in 24 games for the Yanks in 2015. The work in both Colorado and New York was inconsistent as Martin was shuttled between Triple-A and the Majors. After two years, he had a 6.19 ERA and was still looking for his first win.

The Yankees released him. That's when Martin decided to go to Japan and pitch for the Nippon-Ham Fighters. It was career-changing move.

"When I first got over there, I struggled a little bit," Martin said. "It was an adjustment period. But I [knew] this was the last straw, you've got to figure something out."

Martin had two outstanding seasons in Japan. He learned to pound the strike zone to get ahead in counts, and then to expand it to get hitters out. He struck out 91 and walked 13 over a combined two seasons and 88 innings, logging a 1.12 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP.

The Rangers signed him to a two-year deal and not to be a spare part in the bullpen. The club expects him to have an impact just as Tony Barnette did two years ago when he came back from Japan.

"I don't want to look back in the past when I didn't do so well at the Major League level," Martin said. "But I felt there were things I did well if I would have gotten the opportunity to stick a whole year and learn a lot more. That's why Japan was a big help. Going over there for two years taught me to slow the game down and prepare me for success over here."

Martin is back home and not driving a truck. The dream lives on in Arlington.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers, Chris Martin

Odor key to improving Rangers' offense

Second baseman showed power, now has to maintain consistency
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers have spent much time this winter trying to improve their pitching staff. Their offense could use a little help, too, but much of that will have to come from internal improvements and the continued development of their young players.

Second baseman Rougned Odor's name came up in that regard for the Rangers during conversations at the Winter Meetings. When it comes to offensive players who need to step up their game next season, Odor could be at the top of the list.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers have spent much time this winter trying to improve their pitching staff. Their offense could use a little help, too, but much of that will have to come from internal improvements and the continued development of their young players.

Second baseman Rougned Odor's name came up in that regard for the Rangers during conversations at the Winter Meetings. When it comes to offensive players who need to step up their game next season, Odor could be at the top of the list.

The 23-year-old struggled for much of 2017, but a big season in 2018 could be a huge boost for the Rangers. They believe it is there.

"He had a year where the power played but the consistency in the rest of his game, quality of at-bats and defense, we know there is more there," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He played hurt quite a bit, which I give him credit for. He knows, he talked about it, there is more there. Hopefully we'll be able to tap into it next year."

The Rangers see Odor as a young, athletic middle infielder with both speed and power. He has the range to cover ground on defense and just needs to stay under control to avoid careless errors.

Video: HOU@TEX: Odor reaches up to make a nifty catch

Offensively, it comes back to controlling the strike zone and laying off the bad pitches. The Rangers know Odor is not going to pile up big walk totals. They just need him to cut down the strikeouts.

"He knows when he hits well," manager Jeff Banister said. "He knows where his hot zones are. It's a full commitment to sticking to that game plan and shrinking the strike zone for himself."

Odor hit 30 home runs and finished with 75 RBIs last season. But a .204 batting average and a .252 on-base percentage were inflamed by 32 walks and 162 strikeouts.

Odor struck out one time for every 4.07 plate appearances last season, the 10th-worst rate in the American League. Two years ago the ratio was a strikeout per every 5.95 plate appearances. The Rangers want to reverse the regression.

"The one thing that we did was commend him for being able to hit balls out of the strike zone, if you remember," Banister said. "There was a lot of talk about, man, this guy can hit a lot of different pitches. Now we're talking about he needs to dial it back in, right?

"It comes down to being able to control the strike zone. The thing that we don't want to do is take the aggressiveness away from a guy that can drive the ball in the gaps out of the ballpark. You just don't want to do that. There's any given pitch that he's going to hit the ball out of the ballpark."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers, Rougned Odor

Rangers exit Meetings with boxes to check

Club makes noise, but heads home without major additions
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers created ripples but no big splashes by the time the Winter Meetings ended on Thursday.

The trade discussions with the D-backs concerning Zack Greinke caused a stir, but there have been no signs the past two days that a deal is even close or still alive. The pursuit of Jake Arrieta or any other free-agent starter may be just beginning as clubs rebound from the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers created ripples but no big splashes by the time the Winter Meetings ended on Thursday.

The trade discussions with the D-backs concerning Zack Greinke caused a stir, but there have been no signs the past two days that a deal is even close or still alive. The pursuit of Jake Arrieta or any other free-agent starter may be just beginning as clubs rebound from the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes.

The bullpen remains a work in progress, as the Rangers were left out in the flurry of relievers signed this week. The big one was Brandon Kintzler, who decided to stay with the Nationals despite the Rangers' interest.

Hot Stove Tracker

"We had talked to a number of guys who signed elsewhere," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "In most cases, we decided on our part not to go to the level they went."

The Rangers left needing one more starter, but they acquired left-hander Matt Moore from the Giants for a pair of Minor League right-handers on Friday. Yu Darvish and Arrieta sat at the top of the free-agent list, followed by Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. The Rangers were also staying in contact with Andrew Cashner, and they missed out on Miles Mikolas, who signed with the Cardinals.

Video: Banister on looking for starting pitching depth

Deals done
Prior to the Winter Meetings, the Rangers signed free-agent pitchers Doug Fister and Mike Minor for their rotation. They also re-signed reliever Tony Barnette. Here at the Winter Meetings, they signed right-handed reliever Chris Martin to a two-year contract and veteran reliever Kevin Jepsen to a Minor League contract.

Rule 5 Draft
The Rangers acquired outfielder Carlos Tocci from the Phillies. He was drafted by the White Sox and traded to the Rangers for cash considerations. He is an above-average defender who could make the team as an extra outfielder.

Goals accomplished
The Rangers have taken steps to fortify their rotation and deepen their bullpen. The pitching staff is starting to fill up again after a serious offseason purge.

Unfinished business
The obvious need is one front-line reliever at the back of the bullpen. The Rangers also need to add depth to their pitching staff. Jepsen is likely the first of several pitchers who will be signed to Minor League contracts with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

GM's bottom line
"We have acquired three or four guys via free agency and a young outfielder we like. We've got some more work to do, but I'm glad we have added the [players] we have." -- Daniels

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers

Rangers sign reliever Martin to two-year deal

Righty from Arlington had 1.12 ERA in 88 1/3 innings past two years in Japan
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers signed right-handed reliever Chris Martin on Friday to a two-year contract worth $4 million. The move, reported on earlier this week, reinforces the Rangers bullpen and increases the comfort they would have in moving reliever Matt Bush to the rotation.

Martin, an Arlington native who stands 6-foot-8 with a fastball clocked at 95 mph, was dominating over the past two years in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters. The 31-year-old appeared in a combined 92 games with a 1.12 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP. He averaged 9.3 strikeouts, 4.7 hits and 1.3 walks per nine innings with 22 saves in 2016-17.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers signed right-handed reliever Chris Martin on Friday to a two-year contract worth $4 million. The move, reported on earlier this week, reinforces the Rangers bullpen and increases the comfort they would have in moving reliever Matt Bush to the rotation.

Martin, an Arlington native who stands 6-foot-8 with a fastball clocked at 95 mph, was dominating over the past two years in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters. The 31-year-old appeared in a combined 92 games with a 1.12 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP. He averaged 9.3 strikeouts, 4.7 hits and 1.3 walks per nine innings with 22 saves in 2016-17.

The Rangers came into the Winter Meetings looking for both starting pitching and relievers. Martin adds to a bullpen that already includes Bush, Tony Barnette and Keone Kela from the right side and left-handers Jake Diekman and Alex Claudio.

Right-handers Jose Leclerc, Nick Gardewine and Ricardo Rodriguez will also get Spring Training looks, although they will have to earn their way on the team.

The Rangers have also signed left-hander Mike Minor to a three-year contract with the intention of moving the lefty into the rotation. But he pitched in relief for the Royals last season after missing two years because of shoulder problems and could be used in the bullpen if he is not ready to move into the rotation.

Video: Rangers bolster rotation after signing Minor

Bush has spent the past two seasons in the Rangers 'pen and that could still be the case in 2018. But the Rangers want him to prepare this offseason as a starter and will take a look at that possibility in Spring Training.

Martin gives them added depth to consider that option, although the Rangers will continue to look for more bullpen options as the offseason progresses.

Martin is originally from Arlington High School and McLennan College in Waco, Texas, where he played before being taken by the Rockies in the 21st round of the 2005 MLB Draft. His pitching career was cut short by a torn labrum in his right shoulder and he spent three years working various blue-collar jobs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In 2010, Martin attempted a comeback and pitched for the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. The AirHogs, playing just down the freeway from Arlington, were then managed by former Rangers outfielder Pete Incaviglia.

The Red Sox signed Martin after one year in Grand Prairie and he spent three years in their farm system before being traded to the Rockies. He pitched for Colorado in 2014 and then was traded to the Yankees the following season. The righty pitched in 40 games for the Rockies and the Yankees in 2014-15 with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP before going to Japan.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers, Chris Martin

Rangers swing Rule 5 deal for outfielder Tocci

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers found a defensive center fielder in the Rule 5 Draft and a power reliever in the free-agent market as the Winter Meetings ended on Thursday.

The Rangers acquired outfielder Carlos Tocci from the Phillies in the Rule 5 Draft and signed reliever Kevin Jepsen to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Tocci, who played in the Phillies' organization last season, was taken in the Rule 5 Draft by the White Sox and then traded to the Rangers for cash considerations.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers found a defensive center fielder in the Rule 5 Draft and a power reliever in the free-agent market as the Winter Meetings ended on Thursday.

The Rangers acquired outfielder Carlos Tocci from the Phillies in the Rule 5 Draft and signed reliever Kevin Jepsen to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Tocci, who played in the Phillies' organization last season, was taken in the Rule 5 Draft by the White Sox and then traded to the Rangers for cash considerations.

"He is a center fielder and plus defender," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He has really good baseball instincts, a good swing, good bat to ball skills, not a lot of power. He is a good baseball player."

:: Rule 5 Draft coverage ::

Tocci combined to play in 130 games for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, hitting .294 with 19 doubles, seven triples, two home runs, 52 RBIs, a .346 on-base percentage and a .381 slugging percentage.

His defensive skills are the primary attraction. The Rangers tried to sign him as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela before he signed with the Phillies six years ago.

He has a chance to make the team out of Spring Training as an extra outfielder. Tocci must be on the Rangers' active roster for the entire 2018 season or be offered back to the Phillies.

"In the Rule 5 Draft, you look for guys who have a chance to play a role right away with a chance to be something more later on," Daniels said.

Jepsen is a hard thrower and former late-inning setup reliever who has fallen off over the past two years. His last year in the big leagues was 2016, when he was a combined 2-6 with a 5.98 ERA in 58 games with the Twins and Rays.

He signed a Minor League contract with the D-backs last season but was released in Spring Training. He was signed by the Nationals on June 26 and spent the rest of the season at Triple-A Syracuse, where he was 0-1 with a 5.32 ERA in 19 appearances. Opponents hit .237 off him. He had a 2.19 ERA in his last 10 appearances.

"Our scouts saw him late last year and he was throwing the ball well," Daniels said. "We've liked him in the past, so we are going to bring him in and take a look."

Jepsen spent his first seven years in the big leagues pitching out of the Angels' bullpen from 2008-14. He appeared in 315 games in that stretch, going 13-18 with five saves, a 3.92 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He had 15 saves a 2.33 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP after being traded to the Rays and then the Twins in '15. The Twins released him midway through the '16 season and he hooked back up with the Rays for the rest of the year.

Rangers lose Gose
The Rangers lost outfielder/pitcher Anthony Gose to the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft. The Rangers signed Gose to a Minor League contract on Nov. 30 with the intention of giving him a chance to both pitch and play the outfield.

Gose played in 372 games as an outfielder for the Blue Jays and Tigers from 2012-16 before being switched to pitching last year. Gose is left-hander who can throw 99-100 mph. The Astros expect to use him as a pitcher.

"If you sign a player to a Minor League contract before the Rule 5 Draft, there is a chance this will happen," Daniels said. "We like the guy; he obviously has some talent. The Astros are giving him an opportunity. We'll see what happens."

Rangers beat
• The Rangers have re-signed infielder Hanser Alberto to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. He missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

• The Rangers expect to announce the signing of free-agent reliever Chris Martin on Friday. The deal has been pending a physical.

• The Rangers lost four players in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft: outfielder Luke Tendler, shortstop Tyler Smith and pitchers Matt Ball and Daniel Duarte. They added left-hander reliever Locke St. John from the Tigers organization and assigned him to Triple-A. He had a 2.94 ERA in Class A Advanced last year.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers, Carlos Tocci

Glanville sets course to bring social change

Former MLB outfielder to teach class on sports, social justice at University of Pennsylvania
MLB.com

Doug Glanville was the first-round Draft pick of the Cubs in 1991 and went on to have a nine-year Major League career that included stints with the Phillies, Rangers and Cubs. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an engineering degree. Since retiring, he's worked for ESPN and written for a variety of prestigious publications.

Beginning next month, he'll be teaching a class on "Communication, Sports and Social Justice" at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication.

Doug Glanville was the first-round Draft pick of the Cubs in 1991 and went on to have a nine-year Major League career that included stints with the Phillies, Rangers and Cubs. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an engineering degree. Since retiring, he's worked for ESPN and written for a variety of prestigious publications.

Beginning next month, he'll be teaching a class on "Communication, Sports and Social Justice" at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication.

Glanville, who is African-American, developed the concept for the course guided by his own experiences with racial profiling.

Four years ago, he was shoveling snow from the driveway of his Hartford, Conn., home. A passing policeman stopped. "So, are you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people's driveways around here?" he asked.

Two years later, while on assignment as an analyst with ESPN, Glanville and a white colleague landed late one night at Los Angeles International Airport. His co-worker jumped into a cab. When Glanville got to the front of the line, he was told: "Take the bus. It's $19."

He chose to treat those experiences as teachable moments. In both cases he got involved, meeting with legislators and lawmakers, doing the research and working to address the issue. Now he's taking it one step further.

"I want to provide a real-time experience," he explained. "History is important, but I also want the students to respond to, 'Hey, did you see this tweet today?' It's going to have a lot of social media components. We're going to look at headlines, crafting, messaging. A lot of that is empirical because I learned a lot from the two real experiences I had where I saw it going from doing the research, writing something about it, engaging, and then, on the back end, policy shift."

After his employment with ESPN ended a year ago, the 47-year-old began to think about what he might do next. Social justice has long been important to him; his father immigrated from Trinidad and Tobago and went on to become an eminent psychologist, while his mother was a prominent education reformer from the South.

Glanville has been a guest lecturer at Duke, given a TEDx Talk in Atlanta, written for The New York Times and The Atlantic and had numerous speaking engagements on the subject.

"I kind of realized, just looking at what I'd been working on at ESPN, doing a lot of the global games, Jackie Robinson Day, going to Cuba, I've always been really passionate about this space, about the diversity of people. The anthropology of the game, almost," he explained. "Let me just empty the notebook. And it just came together."

He e-mailed his concept to several schools, and Penn responded quickly. Dr. Amy Jordan, assistant dean at the Annenberg School, invited him to teach a class. That went well, and now he'll be responsible for a once-a-week, three-hour course that will run into May.

Broadly speaking, he'll examine the history of social justice in sport and current events, and then look at the most effective methods of communication that can bring about positive change.

"I'm going to throw the kitchen sink at it," he said. "Obviously, baseball is my bread-and-butter, but I want to have something for everyone."

The overarching theme will be developing effective strategies to address social issues and bring about positive change. Based on his own experiences, he knows it can be done.

In Connecticut, Glanville was appointed to the police council and civil rights commission, and Los Angeles launched an undercover operation to determine if the issue was systemic and put a strict, comprehensive policy into effect. In both instances, steps were taken to address racial profiling due to Glanville's work with the appropriate officials.

"It's about giving people a chance to take a deep breath," he said. "The speed of data now is so electric. I'm hoping to bring out the power of the deep breath and getting perspective and getting information. I find that a lot of time, people want to take sides. Yet there's so much space in there that's collaborative and collective and in common that can drive the solution.

"This is really the slow work that's part of making change. It's not necessarily sexy. It's not expeditious. [But] I had two very positive results and learned a lot about the law and policy shifts. So I think when people see the long game, they'll see that, OK, you don't have to have a victory every five seconds. You have to define the goals of what you want to accomplish."

Glanville is excited about this chapter of his life, and also eager to see how far this idea might go.

"I hope to grow it," he said. "Maybe it starts off as a course. And maybe it evolves, to use a term I've been throwing around, into a social justice guidance counselor type of thing. I think it's larger than sports. Maybe something that's institutionalized as a resource center.

"It seems like we should have a place to go to really connect the dots of history, take deep breaths, have forums and discussions, talk to legislators and policy-makers. I just see this as something so much larger, but I'm taking my time with this. I know I have to walk before I can run."

Paul Hagen is a columnist for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers' quest for top pitchers challenging

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers have engaged agent Scott Boras on right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta, but are bracing for a high price tag.

They have engaged the D-backs in trade talks on pitcher Zack Greinke but have not made sufficient progress. A trade could be difficult if the Rangers are insistent on outfielder Shin-Soo Choo being included in the return package.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers have engaged agent Scott Boras on right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta, but are bracing for a high price tag.

They have engaged the D-backs in trade talks on pitcher Zack Greinke but have not made sufficient progress. A trade could be difficult if the Rangers are insistent on outfielder Shin-Soo Choo being included in the return package.

The Rangers came to the Winter Meetings looking for starting pitching and they have clearly set their sights high for a rotation that already includes left-handers Cole Hamels, Martin Perez and Mike Minor, and right-hander Doug Fister.

But getting a front-line starting pitcher is not going to be easy, especially considering the Rangers privately feel that Yu Darvish is going to be out of their price range.

"Nothing has changed," Daniels said. "We added a few guys [Fister and Minor] before we got here and we are looking for more."

Video: Banister on looking for starting pitching depth

Boras has made his feelings clear on the value of Arrieta, who was a National League Cy Young Award winner for the Cubs in 2015 and a 14-game winner last season. He is also 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA in nine postseason starts, including two wins in the 2016 World Series.

"The road to playoffville is about winning big games at big times," Boras said. "The one thing Jake Arrieta's done is he's done that for the Cubs."

Arrieta has deep Texas connections. He went to Plano East High just north of Dallas, pitched at TCU and lives in Austin. That may not motivate him to sign with Texas.

"I think what Jake is looking for is a place that allows him to continue to win and gives the family a place to be for a long time," Boras said. "So I am not sure geography is the measurement in his case. What he is looking for is a club that provides him with a lot of runs and good defense and a chance to play in the World Series again."

Greinke is two years into a six-year, $206.5 million contract he signed with the D-backs before the 2016 season. To make a deal work, the Rangers would likely want to include Choo, who has three years and $62 million left on his contract. That would be tough for the D-backs considering Choo had 77 games in the outfield last year and 65 at designated hitter.

Despite the discussions with the D-backs, Daniels said he is not motivated to trade Choo this winter. Choo hit .261 last season with 96 runs, 22 home runs, 78 RBIs, a .357 on-base percentage and a .423 slugging percentage.

"He had a really good year," Daniels said. "He has been extremely productive."

The Rangers would be willing to trade Choo only if it facilitated the acquisition of a front-line starter. That's been a tough process for the Rangers this winter.

Rangers beat
• The Rangers have not prioritized outfield help at the Winter Meetings. They did ask the Red Sox about outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. but the discussions went nowhere.

• The Rangers remain in contact with pitcher Andrew Cashner, a free agent who won 11 games for them last season.

• MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reported the Rangers have signed outfielder D'Vaughn Knowles and shortstop Keithron Moss. Both are 16 and from the Bahamas.

• The Rangers have reached an agreement with right-handed pitcher Zeke Spruill on a Minor League contract. He pitched this past season in Taiwan and in Korea in 2016. He pitched for the D-backs in 2013-14 and is potential starting pitching depth.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers, Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke

Sources: Rangers inquire about Greinke

D-backs ace's name said to be prominent in talks of potential trade
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers have been in discussions with the D-backs about pitching, and Zack Greinke's name has been prominent, Major League sources said on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings.

The clubs have not confirmed any trade talks.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers have been in discussions with the D-backs about pitching, and Zack Greinke's name has been prominent, Major League sources said on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings.

The clubs have not confirmed any trade talks.

The D-backs are coming off a 93-win season and Greinke is the ace of their staff. But he also still commands one of the most expensive contracts in the game, and Arizona could be motivated to unload it.

The Rangers have made starting pitching a priority this offseason, and they are interested in adding a front-of-the-rotation starter. A reunion with Yu Darvish is likely too expensive because of the asking price, but Texas is still pursuing free-agent starter Jake Arrieta as well.

The Rangers and D-backs have had multiple discussions about starting pitching. A deal for Greinke is not close, but the two sides are continuing to talk. The financial implications are as much of an issue as the players Texas would have to give up. Greinke also has a limited no-trade clause.

Greinke is two years into a six-year, $206.5 million contract he signed with the D-backs before the 2016 season. The Rangers pursued Greinke when he was a free agent.

Greinke, 34, was 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts for Arizona last season, and he finished fifth in the National League with 215 strikeouts. His 4.78 strikeouts per walk was fourth best in the league.

Arrieta, 31, was 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts for the Cubs last season. He is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, having pitched at Plano East (Texas) High School and TCU.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Zack Greinke

Rangers, MCA Fitness All-Stars hold rally

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Wednesday afternoon, Rangers pitcher Nick Gardewine taught nearly 100 Arlington fifth-grade students how important proper nutrition and fitness is to every lifestyle, whether you're a professional athlete or an elementary school student.

Gardewine, joined by broadcaster Dave Raymond, Rangers Captain, a Medical City Arlington physical therapist and the Arlington Fire Department participated in a fitness rally at Hill Elementary.

ARLINGTON -- Wednesday afternoon, Rangers pitcher Nick Gardewine taught nearly 100 Arlington fifth-grade students how important proper nutrition and fitness is to every lifestyle, whether you're a professional athlete or an elementary school student.

Gardewine, joined by broadcaster Dave Raymond, Rangers Captain, a Medical City Arlington physical therapist and the Arlington Fire Department participated in a fitness rally at Hill Elementary.

"Programs like this are really cool. I think it's fun to interact with the kids and just get young kids excited to be healthy," Gardewine said. "It is really important [to learn about a healthy lifestyle]. Once you instill that, when they're young, they'll just continue when they're older."

The Medical City Arlington (MCA) Fitness All-Stars program is designed to promote healthy life choices and regular exercise in order to prevent childhood obesity. The program, incorporated in all fifth grade Arlington Independent School District (AISD) curriculums, provides physical education classes with educational tools for children and families to maintain healthy and active lifestyles.

The rally taught everything from the importance of a balanced diet to ideas for active and healthy hobbies.

Tweet from @Rangers: 🎶 Hey now you���re an (MCA Fitness) All-🌟@NGardewine12 , @daveraymond4 & @rangerscaptain shared the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle with local 5th graders today! pic.twitter.com/5w6vTI4GDI

"The great thing about these events is, they'll go home and talk about it with their brothers, sisters, parents, and it's always a good reminder [to stay healthy]," Raymond said.

This marked the 10th year the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and Medical City Arlington have partnered to present the fitness rally as well as teach health and fitness through interactive learning aids at elementary schools.

Alysia Salyer, a physical education teacher at Hill Elementary, implements the MCA fitness program into her everyday curriculum. The program helps add inspiration for students to stay healthy.

"I promote fitness and wellness with the kids, and they've been really inspired because they know it's not just what they do in physical education, but it's kind of an all-around thing," Salyer said.

Salyer, who is in her 10th year at Hill Elementary, works with MCA and the Rangers to honor students that exemplify healthy lifestyles, habits and demonstrate leadership in the classroom.

"I want them to recognize how important it is to have fitness a part of their regular lifestyle," Salyer said. "Not just in school, but outside of school, and making good choices for nutrition and their health overall so that it can last a lifetime."

Madison Pelletier is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers

Banister wants pitchers to reduce walks

Rangers set out to improve on one of last season's issues
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There are 93 Major League pitchers who have thrown at least 500 innings in the last 10 years. Doug Fister ranks ninth in that group with 2.08 walks per nine innings in his career and Mike Minor is 36th at 2.58.

The Rangers' pitching staff averaged 3.51 walks per nine innings last season, third-highest in the American League. Acquiring pitchers who can help reduce that ratio has been a priority this winter.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There are 93 Major League pitchers who have thrown at least 500 innings in the last 10 years. Doug Fister ranks ninth in that group with 2.08 walks per nine innings in his career and Mike Minor is 36th at 2.58.

The Rangers' pitching staff averaged 3.51 walks per nine innings last season, third-highest in the American League. Acquiring pitchers who can help reduce that ratio has been a priority this winter.

It was a driving force behind signing Fister and Minor, and it continues to figure prominently in the Rangers' deliberations with free agents.

"When we do kind of a critical analysis of the team and where we were and where we felt like we needed to improve, we talked about at the end of the year last year," manager Jeff Banister said. "There were two areas on both sides, offensively and defensively, the ability to command the strike zone in the batter's box, the ability to command the strike zone off the mound.

"So when you look at it, one of the first things you can do is go out and profile guys that you feel are better in that department. So, yeah, we feel like we've done some of that."

Rangers pitchers walked 4.06 batters per nine innings in the club's 84 losses last season. They averaged 2.95 in the club's 78 wins. The high number of walks was often a point of irritation for Banister in his postgame critiques.

"Well, look, when you think about the free battle on both sides, whether it's giving away or taking, when you're upside down on one of them, the win percentage goes down significantly," Banister said. "So the ability to control that, if you will, whether it's ball-strike ratio, less walks off the mound, more walks in the batter's box -- and it's not just about being in the batter's box just looking to walk. No, it's taking advantage of the walk that's in front of you. But it's also not giving those up. They go together."

Video: Gallo's defensive flexibility gives Rangers options

Rangers beat
• "I think he's an above-average first baseman right now. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that this guy, one day, he's an everyday first baseman, Gold Glove-type defense. That's just his range, his ability." -- Banister on Joey Gallo's defensive potential at first base

• Pitching is the Rangers' priority, but they are well aware the Marlins are in a sell mode. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna would be of interest to them. He has played both left and center field.

• Baseball America is reporting that the Rangers have signed 16-year-old shortstop Keithron Moss out of the Bahamas. The club has not confirmed.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers

Rangers, Darvish not ruling out a reunion

Finding a financial fit with free agent could be a hurdle
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers -- known for their reunions with former players -- are weighing the possibility of another one with pitcher Yu Darvish.

Many of the elements are in place although the financial implications would be the biggest obstacle in getting Darvish back in Rangers uniform. But both sides have made it clear they are open to the possibility.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers -- known for their reunions with former players -- are weighing the possibility of another one with pitcher Yu Darvish.

Many of the elements are in place although the financial implications would be the biggest obstacle in getting Darvish back in Rangers uniform. But both sides have made it clear they are open to the possibility.

"The relationship is very good," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "A number of us [in the Rangers organization] still maintain contact with him. The relationship with him has been good for years. There are no other factors other than the traditional free-agent decisions."

The Rangers traded Darvish to the Dodgers on July 31 at a time when it appeared they were falling out of postseason contention. But they retain a high regard for Darvish and have spoken with agent Joel Wolfe.

Video: Sullivan weighs Rangers' free-agent pitching options

Wolfe has acknowledged the Rangers interest and Darvish is open to a return, reiterating that his client enjoyed his time in Texas. Darvish and his wife still retain a home in the Dallas area.

"He had a tremendous experience there," Wolfe said. "They love Dallas. They moved back there after the season. But he's got an open mind. He wants to play for a winner, get back to the World Series and redeem himself. He feels next year will be the best year of his career."

Hot Stove Tracker

The Rangers have an opening in a rotation that includes left-handers Cole Hamels, Martin Perez and Mike Minor, and right-hander Doug Fister. Darvish would give them another potential 200-inning starter at the top of the rotation.

Darvish and Jake Arrieta are clearly the top two starters on the free-agent market. The Rangers would prefer Darvish based on their previous relationship with him even though Arrieta went to school locally at Plano East High and college at TCU.

But top starters do not come cheaply. Most of the Rangers reunions -- including Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli of late -- usually come at a time when the player's price has been reduced or is non-existent.

That is hardly the case with Darvish. He made 31 starters for the Rangers and Dodgers last season, going 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA. Those numbers don't sparkle but he still struck out 10.08 batters per nine innings, held opponents to a .228 batting average and finished with a 1.16 WHIP.

Darvish could be looking at a 5-7 year contract. The Astros and the Cubs are just two of the many teams that are seeking starting pitching this winter.

"We believe he is the best starting pitcher on the market, or in any capacity, whether it's trade or free agency," Wolfe said. "Hopefully, this is a busy week, but he is very patient. You look at what other aces did in the playoffs, he helped get the Dodgers to the World Series. I think his value is extremely high."

The Rangers are trying to be financially prudent this winter and Darvish would command a sizable investment for a pitcher who is 56-42 with a 3.42 ERA in parts of five Major League seasons with Texas, is 31 years old and had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery on March 17, 2015.

Daniels said the financial implications are, "a big part on both sides but not the only one. It could be any number of things. But there is nothing outside the normal factors that keep us from pursuing him."

There is also no doubt the Rangers could use a front-line starter to really accelerate the reconstruction of their rotation if they are serious about contending in the American League West.

Rangers beat

• There was some chatter about the Rangers interest in Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, who can be a free agent after next season. But Daniels said in general the Rangers aren't looking to trade controllable talent for a one-year rental.

• The Rangers have yet to announce the signing of free-agent pitcher Chris Martin. The deal is still pending a physical but the Rangers are still pursuing relief help even beyond Martin.

• The Rangers expressed an interest in Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole but the discussions did not get far.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish