This bothers me.
Johnson, of course, started his career with the Yankees, and I would wager that, money being equal, Johnson would prefer to play there, for the defending World Series champs, rather than for the Rangers, the defending second place A.L. West team.
That being said...would Johnson have signed with Texas instead of New York if Texas had offered, say, $6.5 million? $7 million?
The difference between Mike Lowell and Nick Johnson is not insignificant, and an extra $3.5-4 million for Johnson would have been money well spent. He's actually a DH who is a really good hitter, as compared to a DH who is a decent hitter for a third baseman.
This frustrates me. And I'm not sure if this is a situation where the Rangers just simply couldn't afford him, in which case my frustration is with Tom Hicks (which, of course, is just a drop in the bucket overall), or a situation where the Rangers just decided that Lowell at $3 million was a better deal than Johnson at $6.5 million (for example), in which case my frustration is with Jon Daniels and the rest of the front office.