I have no problem with letting CJ go. In fact, it makes sense to me to let CJ go, and I don't think it has anything to do with the Rangers being cash strapped or stupid. Instead, I think it is an issue of their perspective on their "core" and their available talent. Since Daniels took over, the Rangers have been hoarding pitching, and now that hoarding is bearing fruits in terms of depth. Without CJ, the Rangers retain 4/5 of a very good rotation from last year, and insert the best arm in the system into his place. Further, they have at least 3 players behind those 5 in Feldman, Perez and Ramirez who potentially could compete at the ML level this season if necessary. CJ, while a very good SP, was not dramatically better than the top 4-5 pitchers the Rangers already have in place for next year.
Further is the issue of core players. When you examine the Rangers system, you see that there is very little positional depth. Olt and Profar are high end position players, but they are blocked and, especially in the case of Profar, not all that close to contributing. Outside of them, there is little high end positional talent in the system. Therefore if the Rangers were to allow Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli or Ian Kinsler to leave in the next two seasons, the in-house replacements would be poor. Those players need to be locked up more than CJ, because they are less replaceable than CJ. When the Rangers did splash big money, as they did last year with Beltre, it was on a player whose skillset was not anywhere near present in the system.
I suspect that, by the time the season starts, we will begin seeing extensions for some of the core players, as well as the addition of another bullpen arm. And I am fine with this. If letting CJ walk allows the Rangers to resign Napoli, Hamilton and Kinsler then so be it. In any case, there is no point in going bananas about the offseason when the offseason is not over yet.