According to at least one local report, lefthander Eddie Guardado has agreed in principle to return to the Rangers on a one-year, non-roster contract. Final terms have yet to be ironed out, reportedly, but the deal could be worth as much as $3 million if Guardado makes the staff and hits all incentive thresholds. There is also talk of some level of no-trade protection.
There is mounting speculation among national columnists that Ben Sheets's medicals are worse than anticipated, which is why he remains on the market.
What I fear at this point is that Oakland, which has been quietly plucking veterans off the free agency and trade markets (Jason Giambi, Russ Springer, Michael Wuertz, after the big Matt Holliday splash), goes out and offers Sheets a one-year deal, very heavy on incentives, with the idea that he can help bring along the young A's rotation, and, if healthy, not only boost Oakland's chances to win this year in a division whose margin at the top has arguably narrowed, but also give Billy Beane a significant July trade chip or two first-rounders in 2010, more than making up for the 2009 second-round pick he'd be forfeiting to sign the righthander.
Hoping to have the Newberg Report Q&A ready to roll out tomorrow.