On the possibility of Phil Nevin being released:
The Rangers could always eat the remainder of the contract, which is something they said they'd have been willing to do with Chan Ho Park. But when it comes time to swallow, $14 million is a lot to chew on.
Bad news for Jason Botts. And for Rangers fans...
On the success of the Rangers' young pitchers over the last month:
Rangers fans can't help but be encouraged by the performances over the last month. And it's fine to be encouraged. It's another thing to be convinced. No matter how talented these guys may be, making decisions on their 2006 status based solely on a time when they are often facing prospects would be rash.
It would be hard to go into next season with Chris Young and four starters who have yet to prove themselves over a full year and expect to contend. If the Rangers sign a marquee pitcher in free agency, bring in one other veteran and still have Young, then adding two of three from the Dickey-Dominguez-Loe group might be more conducive to contending.
I absolutely agree with that. This team needs to add two more quality starting pitchers (or add one and retain Rogers) if it expects to contend next season. I like the idea of going with Loe, Dominguez and Young, plus two vets, with Rupe, Dickey, and the DVD guys in the minors to start the year.
In response to a Marshall McDougall question, sent in by friend of LSB Darrell McKown:
Perhaps the Rangers view McDougall as the economical utility man option for 2006 but DeRosa as the more efficient option. I'd venture that DeRosa would only cost the team about $750,000, which is about $400,000 more than McDougall would cost. DeRosa is only 30, has an Atlanta playoff pedigree and is a more natural backup shortstop than McDougall. He's also acquitted himself very capably in the outfield.
I think the Rangers are playing for 2006 right now. I believe they are auditioning DeRosa for an expanded utility role.
An "expanded utility role" for DeRosa in 2006? Yuck.
What is it with this group making decisions on scrub vets based on a good month or two? GMJ is a perfect example...he played well in a limited role last season, and the team decided he was a starting CF. He was awful to start the season, forcing the Rangers to recall Laynce Nix. And he had a couple of good months this summer, leading to talk that he's the answer in CF next year, while the organization apparently ignores that he's stopped hitting again, and is sporting his usual mediocre EQA for the season.
DeRosa as a 25th man is fine. DeRosa as a super-sub getting 300 ABs and platooning in the outfield is awful.
On Edison Volquez being in the majors already:
As we said last week, the Rangers have publicly said they'd like to see their minor leaguers master one level before going to the next. Volquez's promotion seems to be a case where actions don't match up with rhetoric.
I don't really have a problem with Volquez being up now, as it gives him a chance to get some exposure to the majors, and he was going to be added to the 40 man roster anyway. I do think, though, that the hype about Volquez, Diamond or Danks being ready to contribute this season was very premature.
On the job security of Hart and Buck:
Who knows what to expect? Owner Tom Hicks is expected to meet with several key Rangers this weekend to gauge them on their feelings about 2005 and the team's direction. If the players say they are unhappy, will Hicks make big changes to management or will he simply tell the players to toughen up? It's simply hard to forecast.
That is interesting, because it is the first I've read of Hicks meeting with "several key Rangers" over the weekend. Given the consistent reports of how unhappy the players have been with the front office and, to a lesser extent, Buck Showalter, and given how much weight Hicks has tended to give to his players' opinions in the past, this wouldn't seem to bode well for the current management regime.