- The Rangers are working to avoid salary arbitration with OF Nelson Cruz. The hearing is scheduled for February 17th.
Cruz had this to say regarding the process and his future in Texas, “I’m not afraid of the process. If we need to go to arbitration, I’ll do it. But in an ideal world, it’s better to avoid it altogether. I’d like to be a Ranger for life. I like the city, the team and the fans. But this is a business. If God wants me to keep on playing in Texas, it will happen. I have to be ready for anything.”
Cruz will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season.
- One of the conversations we got into with Kevin Mench when we recently interviewed him (Jasen’s article here) was around the arbitration process. The GM, the player, as well as others sit in front of an arbitrator and pitch their sides in order to get the arbitrator to settle on a salary closer to what they desire. Doesn’t sound like a fun process and even those with thick skin can sometimes be turned off by the organizations tactics. Let’s hope that Nellie doesn’t have to go through this.
- Bryan Dolgin (ESPN.com) wrote a good piece on Mitch Moreland’s increased motivation driven from the Prince Fielder hooplah.
Moreland says, “I think it was more of a motivation thing for me, you know. He’s a good player and all, but you know, I want to go out and prove that they didn’t need him. I’m looking forward to this year and getting started.”
Check out the rest of the article here.
- John Machota (Special Contributor to DallasNews.com) wrote a column on Matt Harrison, who is believed to be the odd man out if the Rangers were to sign Roy Oswalt. Harrison, on with Ben & Skin (103.3 ESPN), was asked about the potential of being traded if Oswalt was signed and said, “That could be an option. I feel like I proved myself last year, that I could be a consistent starter in the big leagues. I’m not saying the bullpen is a bad thing but I think I’m better suited for the rotation because pretty much at the beginning of the game I’m a little bit of a slow starter and I kind of acclimate as the game goes on.”
- Oswalt, Oswalt, Oswalt….I keep waiting for this to go away and for Oswalt to sign with another team, but the fact that Oswalt has yet to make a decision leads me to believe that the Rangers are at least still players for the veteran right-hander. We have provided our opinion already regarding Oswalt (here) and the impact his signing would have on the current pitching staff. If this is part of a bigger plan, as many of speculated, Harrison should have strong value on the trade market. Signing Oswalt, and dealing Harrison could lead to a improvement in center-field, the bullpen, or even more young talent to stock the minors with. All that said, I’d still prefer to see Matt Harrison in my rotation this year as opposed to Roy Oswalt.
- Rangers announced a whole mess of personnel moves yesterday. Richard Durrett (ESPN.com) covers them here.
- Nolan Ryan turned 65 years-old yesterday. If Nolan isn’t already your homeboy, make it happen.