Hurdle could jump.

Clint Hurdle is not only one of two finalists for the Pirates’ managerial job but also a candidate with the Mets, the only other team without a skipper at the moment.  According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, Hurdle is interviewing with New York, as are Terry Collins, Don Wakamatsu, and Bob Melvin.  Others who have been mentioned as candidates include Chip Hale, Wally Backman, and Dave Jauss.

Fox Sports Southwest is re-airing Wednesday’s Rangers Rally tomorrow afternoon at 3:00.  The hour-long program features remarks to a crowd of thousands by Chuck Greenberg, Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels, Ron Washington, and a number of players, including Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, and Ian Kinsler.  I’m not sure if the re-airing will include some of the highlight packages that were shown at the event, but they did a great job with highlights from the 2010 season and the playoffs.

In case it wasn’t clear from yesterday’s stories, righthanders Doug Mathis and Brandon McCarthy and infielder Esteban German apparently refused their outright assignments and are now free agents.

Oakland signed righthander Willie Eyre to a minor league contract.

Texas graduated a number of its top prospects to the big leagues in 2010, and traded 10 minor leaguers in July.  The Rangers may not hold onto the number one spot in the farm system rankings this winter, but guess what?  In Baseball America’s rankings of the top 20 prospects in each of the minor leagues, from rookie ball up to AAA and based on consultation with league managers and pro scouts, Texas had 18 players show up on at least one of the top 20 lists.  No other organization had more than 15.

Teams’ exclusive window to negotiate with their own free agents closes tonight at 11 p.m. Central, officially opening free agency.  According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees are set to get their holiday shopping underway, and “could place their first bid on [Cliff] Lee very soon, perhaps within the next 72 hours.”

If you want to get your own jump on the holidays, you can preorder a book about the 2010 Texas Rangers season.

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(c) Jamey Newberg
http://www.newbergreport.com
Twitter  @newbergreport

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