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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Matthews' loss hurts double for Rangers

Free-agent center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. decided Wednesday he had $50 million reasons to give thanks

The former Ranger, who went from journeyman to Gold Glove-caliber All-Star in 2006, signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on the day before Thanksgiving.

Matthews' defection is a double-edged blow to the Rangers, who lost their leadoff hitter and one of their best defensive players. Couple that with the fact he left for a division rival and the early returns are the Rangers are in a world of hurt in center field.

However, the loss of Matthews could end up helping Texas if GM Jon Daniels finds a way to bring All-Star and Gold Glove center fielder Vernon Wells home. Wells, 27, has one year remaining on his contract in Toronto. The Shreveport native grew up in Arlington and played at Bowie High School in the city. He has longed for a return to the Metroplex where his father still lives. This just may be the chance for that to happen.


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