A few quick things...

I didn't like the Winn signing or the Wilson signing...the Oracle liked the Winn deal, really hated the Wilson deal.  

But you could argue that the Winn deal gives a set of parameters, if the Rangers wanted to start talking long-term deal with Brad Wilkerson.  I imagine they want to see how healthy he is this year, but if he doesn't get dinged up, I could definitely see the Rangers offering him something like what Winn got to buy out his 2007 arbitration year and two free agent years.

A couple of interesting things at Buster Olney's blog today...

First, he goes through the most "indispensable" players among the likely contenders, and lists the 20 most indispensable.  Bonds, Pedro and Vlad are 1-2-3, and aren't surprising, but Bobby Crosby, at #4, is a bit of shock, although I don't necessarily disagree with Olney here.

He has Cordero at #11 and Mike Young at #17, but in thinking about it, I think he has Cordero too high and Young too low.  The Rangers' pen should be deep this year -- I can think of at least four or five guys who are probably solid major league relievers right now who will start the year in the minors -- and while losing Cordero would hurt, I think the Rangers could survive.

Young, on the other hand...if he goes down, we are looking at Mark DeRosa or Joaquin Arias at shortstop, which is a huge blow.  I think that's a bigger dropoff than any other position on the team -- even first base, where Jason Botts or a healthy and productive Phil Nevin could fill in for Mark Teixeira without as big a dropoff.  Kevin Millwood and Brad Wilkerson are the other two guys who I think are pretty high on the Ranger "indispensible" list.

Olney also has this to say on the Greinke situation:

Talked to several folks in baseball yesterday about Zack Greinke's departure from Kansas City's camp. Greinke, according to these sources, was going through some drills halfheartedly last week, and K.C. manager Buddy Bell got on him, pushing him to improve his effort; Greinke, displeased, later met with Bell. And then, a couple of days later, he packed up and walked out of camp. According to one source, Greinke indicated that he felt the team's new pitching coach had nothing to offer him. Greinke's discontent was felt last year, as well, when he repeatedly indicated to others that he was fed up with the way his baseball career was going. He told others he was ready to walk away.

This is a mess of a situation for the Royals, and it is part of the reason why it is so dicey to bring up a young player so soon...particularly a young player who is being promoted as the future of the franchise.  Greinke clearly was rushed -- he was 20 years old when he made his major league debut, with only 15 games above A-ball -- but he held his own his rookie season, and had folks talking about the next Greg Maddux.

2005 was awful for Greinke, though...and this was the first time in his professional career when he'd really struggled.  Making it worse, he was on an awful team with the worst defense in baseball, meaning he had no margin for error.  And given that he was being portrayed as the savior, I'm sure it seemed to him that the fate of the organization rested on every pitch he made.  For a kid who was barely old enough to drink, that's got to be a lot to deal with.

He's clearly not dealing with the situation well, but hopefully this meltdown with be cathartic for him, and he'll be able to get things back on track.  Greinke is an incredible talent, and it would be a shame for baseball fans if he were to flame out now.

As a sidenote, with this sort of drama going on with him, I can't help but find it ironic that the Rangers have supposedly been so dug in on trying to get Greinke in any deal with the Royals the past year or two, given how impatient the organization has been with Juan Dominguez and his struggles.  

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