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Rangers have had ‘informal’ extensions talks with Yu Darvish, Jonathan Lucroy

Friday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes the Rangers’ plans to extend their stars, the most forgettable baseball stories of 2016, and reflections on Matt Wieters.

Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

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Jonathan Lucroy has an option for 2017. Yu Darvish signed a six-year deal back before 2012 that is now heading into its final season. To no one’s surprise, the Rangers are keen on keeping both of these key players around beyond just this upcoming season, with Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels even saying so on a recent radio appearance instead of keeping secretive. In fact, he was pretty open about where their discussions have been to this point and where he sees them going.

Daniels described the talks with Lucroy and Darvish to this point as "informal," while saying that the more official discussions would happen later in the winter and during the spring. He’s still high on Darvish, too, so it doesn’t sound like the Rangers expect to get any kind of discount on him when their GM is out here saying he’s in line for a "monster year" and that "when he’s on the mound he’s one of the best in the game." Plus, Darvish will only be 30 years old in 2017, so a four- or five-year extension with his health taken into account could be a real steal while also being maybe the smartest thing the oft-injured Darvish could sign.

As for Lucroy, he’ll be a 32-year-old catcher when he begins his next deal in 2018, one with about 1,000 games behind him as well as maybe 7,500 innings behind a major-league plate. Like with Darvish, there would be some risks accounted for in any extension, but at least Lucroy has had health on his side despite the workload and has also mashed every year since 2012 excepting a 2015 in which he was still well above-average offensively as a backstop. Both of these guys are going to get paid, and likely by the Rangers, but we’ll have to wait another month or two or three for that to happen.