Start of a new week, and hopefully, we'll have an idea who the finalists are for the Rangers' managerial position by the end of this week...
Trey Hillman is set to interview with the Rangers on Tuesday, with Don Wakamatsu interviewing on Wednesday. Supposedly, the two finalists will have another round of interviews with Tom Hicks, although with Hillman's schedule, I'm not sure how that would work for him.
Wakamatsu is also apparently going to interview with the A's for their managerial job, if he doesn't get hired by the Rangers.
Wakamatsu, the Rangers' bench coach for the past four seasons, is also a strong candidate. He would bring some continuity, having worked under Buck Showalter, but he is well-liked by the players and is seen as a very different personality than Showalter.
Jan Hubbard talks about the free agency market, suggesting that Vicente Padilla could be looking at a three or four year deal at $8-9 million per year. I don't think I'd go four years for Padilla, but I'd probably do a three year, $24 million contract.
Hubbard ranks Padilla as the #7 free agent pitcher in the market, right ahead of Gil Meche, who has been a major disappointment for the Mariners the last several years.
With Texas trying to keep free agents Matthews and Vicente Padilla, the Sox could take a shot at All-Star shortstop Michael Young as part of a major deal. Young can become a free agent after 2007, and the Sox could elect to take a run at him then, with Juan Uribe's buyout for 2008 at $300,000.
The Sox have thoroughly scouted Texas pitching prospects Edison Volquez, John Danks, Thomas Diamond, Nick Masset and Eric Hurley, and preliminary talks last November broke down when the Rangers were unwilling to part with Danks or Diamond in a multiplayer trade.
I assume that the "preliminary talks" that are being referred to from last winter involved the ChiSox sending pitching to the Rangers, not a Michael Young deal.
With Young not eligible for free agency until after 2008, rather than 2007, as the writer claims, I don't see the Rangers sending him to Chicago this offseason.