Texas Takes a Stand
Saying No to the No-trade Clause
The Rangers have been stuck in last place in the AL West since May 24, yet general manager John Hart has had a hard time moving high-priced veterans because they refuse to waive the no-trade clauses in their contracts. Therefore, owner Tom Hicks will no longer agree to those clauses in future negotiations. "We haven't written out a policy," Hicks says, "but I've talked with John, and we feel the same way: no more."
Hicks believes his club's prior willingness to hand out no-trade clauses now hampers its rebuilding efforts. Over the past 14 months three players have blocked potential deals for prospects. First baseman Rafael Palmeiro, 38, who can become a free agent after this season and whom the Rangers have little interest in re-signing, has twice rejected a trade to the Cubs this season that would have netted Texas two or three minor leaguers. Rightfielder Juan Gonzalez, 33, also free-agent eligible this fall, turned down a trade to Montreal in June that would have brought Texas at least two prospects, including 23-year-old righthander Seung Jun Song. Last summer lefthander Kenny Rogers rejected a trade to the Reds—and then, as a free agent, signed with the Twins in March.
"I may be naive," Hart says, "but I thought that players would relish the chance to play meaningful games. Maybe I'm a dinosaur for believing that."
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