Nationals

Texas Rangers raise single-game ticket prices

Texas Rangers raise single-game ticket prices

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) The Texas Rangers are raising single-game ticket prices again after failing to win a playoff game, losing slugger Josh Hamilton in free agency and trading fan favorite Michael Young.

Most of the increases were $1 to $4 per ticket. The team also designated 36 of its 81 home games as more expensive premier games, up from 26 a year ago.

After going to the World Series two years in a row, the Rangers lost the AL wild-card game at home against Baltimore last October. Individual ticket prices were announced Tuesday, the same day the team provided an update of renovations being made to Rangers Ballpark.

The team for the first time will use dynamic pricing for adult tickets in the upper reserved section that are $19 for non-premier games and $22 for premier games. Those account for nearly 20 percent of the seats in the stadium.

Based on market demand and factors such pitching matchups, day of the week and weather, the team could adjust prices higher or lower. The Rangers said more than half of the 30 major league teams use different versions of demand-based pricing.

Rick George, the team's chief operating officer, said the dynamic pricing could be expanded to other sections later in the season.

Lower infield seats for this season will be $78 for non-premier games and $88 for premier games such as the April 5 home opener against the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels, Hamilton's new team. Those tickets were $76 or $85 last season, and $72 and $81 in 2011.

Seats in the popular all-you-can-eat section will be $51 for regular games and $58 for premier games. Those have increased each year, from $34 and $39 in 2010.

The cheapest tickets, in the grandstand, increased from $7 to $11 for regular games, though seats for kids 13 and under remained $3 in those sections.

Individual game tickets, except for opening day, go on sale March 2.

For the April 5 opener against the Angels, fans have to register online for a drawing to determine who gets the chance to buy the remaining limited number of individual reserved seats and standing room tickets. The team is also offering 10-game plans that include a ticket to the opener.

The $12 million renovation project at the stadium is adding a row of seats behind home plate, increasing the size of the dugouts and making extensive renovations to the club and concessions areas behind home plate. It is the third year in a row there are been significant offseason work to the stadium that opened in 1994.

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Mike Rizzo provides an injury update on Max Scherzer

Mike Rizzo provides an injury update on Max Scherzer

After being placed on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain, Max Scherzer is supposed to come off of the IL by Saturday in time for the Nationals' third game of their series against the Atlanta Braves.

When he will actually pitch, is another question.

On Tuesday, Scherzer reportedly told manager Davey Martinez he's feeling "a lot better." Nationals GM Mike Rizzo followed up those comments during his spot on The Sports Junkies Wednesday.

"If he’s capable of pitching he will," Rizzo said.

Rizzo told the Junkies that he will find out more information about Scherzer's status prior to Wednesday's final game against the Baltimore Orioles. He said he, in conjunction with the Nationals' medical personnel, made the decision to place Scherzer on the 10-day IL.

“He was incapable of pitching the way Max Scherzer pitches so we all decided to put him on the IL," Rizzo said.

Scherzer was scheduled to start against the Braves this weekend, but the decision will depend on how Scherzer feels.

‘We’re still in July," Rizzo said. "Guarantee you this: If this is September and we needed this win, you couldn’t keep Max off the mound. Sometimes I have to be the adult in the room and just say, ‘sorry, buddy, not this time.”

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Mike Rizzo on how the Nationals plan to approach the nearing trade deadline

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Mike Rizzo on how the Nationals plan to approach the nearing trade deadline

With the MLB trade deadline only two weeks away, Nationals' general manager Mike Rizzo expects the team to be more focused on acquiring players than trading away any - and that includes third baseman Anthony Rendon, whose contract expires at the end of season.

"Obviously, we’re always listening and we’re always talking to people," Rizzo said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday. "But I don’t anticipate moving Anthony Rendon, no."

Rendon's contract extension of $18.8 million going into the 2018 season will expire at the end of this season, and while Rizzo and the Nationals have made it clear they are actively working to re-sign him, a deal has yet to be made.

Rendon's agent Scott Boras told NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas during the All-Star Break that he and the [Nationals team owners] Lerners have "always worked out things -- usually."

“There are times that they make decisions and we make decisions, and I think they’ve been very good decisions for all parties involved," Boras added at the time. "When they sit down and look at where their franchise is going, that’s a direction they have to give us. Obviously, they have to make those decisions. Rendon is a superstar and that is a major decision in their franchise. I don’t ask. I just go and prepare for our meetings and we talk and kind of listen to what they tell us they want to do. It’s really in their corner as to how we go from there.”

Rizzo told the Junkies that the Nationals plan to keep Rendon, though acknowledged the calls for him from other teams do keep coming in.

‘’[An offer] would have to be something that wouldn’t make sense for us to turn down and probably wouldn’t make sense for them to acquire," Rizzo said on trading Rendon.

Rizzo said the Nationals' front office is prepared to add some players to the roster.

"We’ve been most recently in acquire mode, because, you know, we’ve had the chance to win the last eight seasons and I think we're in that mode again," Rizzo said.

Though, of course, he wouldn't actually rule out making any trades that send some players out of DC.

"We're an aggressive front office, we're an aggressive ownership group, and if there’s a deal to be made that would help us prepare for meaningful games in September and beyond, we’ve shown in the past that we’re capable of doing that and we're not afraid to make a trade," he said.

The Nationals take on the Orioles for game 2 of the Battle of the Beltways Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. 

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