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Sullivan on the management pow-wow

T.R. Sullivan's notes column today includes some info on the Buck/Hart/Hicks pow-wow from Monday night...

Sullivan says that much of the rest of the season will be dedicated to looking at the younger players, which must be why Mark DeRosa and Phil Nevin were starting yet again yesterday, while Marshall McDougall and Adrian Gonzalez sat on the bench, and while Jason Botts and Gerald Laird continued to toil in Oklahoma...

Meanwhile, we got this less than encouraging news on payroll...

The young talent in the organization was discussed over dinner at Hicks' house, as was the Rangers' payroll, which was about $55 million this year. Hicks said the payroll could increase next year, but that will not be determined until club revenue is evaluated in September and October.

"The size of our payroll will be tied to revenue," Hicks said. "It's not an absolute number; it's player specific. If we have a chance to get a player of good value, it will be higher. If we don't, it will be lower. We're not going to do something stupid."

So, we could be going into next season with a $55 million payroll, once again.

For a major market team like the Rangers, with the media deal and attendance that the Rangers have, this is completely unacceptable. For Hicks to pretend that somehow this team can't afford a higher payroll means, quite simply, that he thinks that the Rangers fans are stupid, and that he thinks he doesn't have to put a playoff-caliber product on the field in order for the fans to show up and for him to make money.

And if the team does go into next season with a $55 million payroll, then, unless Soriano, Cordero, or Teixeira are dealt, there will be no significant additions. Given the players currently under contract, and the core players who are arbitration eligible, the Rangers will have about $12 million to spend on the rest of the team, which would include four starting pitchers, about four relievers, a DH, a right fielder, a catcher, and various backups.