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2006 payroll and the Alfonso Soriano situation

Okay, I've seen this question kicked around...why can't the Rangers just keep Soriano around next year, pay him the $10 million or whatever he's going to get, and make other upgrades? After all, he's getting $7.5 million this year, and a couple of contracts are falling off the books, so how big an impact is it really going to have?

But take a look at the numbers...

If Hicks is going to keep payroll in the $55 million range, keeping Soriano means that the Rangers really won't be able to do much else in the offseason.

Soriano and the Ho will combine for $25 million in 2006 -- $15 million for the Ho, and the $10 million Soriano will get in arbitration. That leaves you $30 million to spend on the rest of the team.

Blalock and Young are under contract for 2006 at $3 million apiece, and Cordero is under contract for 2006 at $4 million.

That leaves you with $20 million to spend.

Teixeira is going to be at around $5 million, whether he goes to arbitration or settles, and Mench is going to come in at about $2 million. Dellucci and Mahay are under contract for 2006 for around $1 million apiece.

That leaves you with $11 million to spend on the remaining 16 players on the 25 man roster. That $11 million has to get you a bench, a DH, a starting CF, a starting RF, a starting catcher, and four starting pitchers (or five, if the Rangers finally cut bait with the Ho).

That's why Soriano, at $10 million, is a bad allocation of resources, given the payroll restraints that this team has.

If Tom Hicks gets the payroll back to where it should be -- in the $70-80 million range -- then Soriano can stay without breaking the budget, although even then I think the team would be better off bringing up Kinsler to play second, dealing Soriano, and spending the money elsewhere.

But if Hicks is going to keep running the Rangers like a small-market franchise, then it simply makes no sense to bring Soriano back next year.