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Wednesday morning things

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The S-T has a piece on the Kenny Lofton signing, with Lofton talking about his goal of winning a championship.

A guy who could be a big piece in helping the Rangers get a championship, Mark Mulder, was in town yesterday, meeting with Tom Hicks, Jon Daniels and Thad Levine. The Rangers have an offer out there on Mulder, and they seem to be in the thick of the hunt to get him.

The New York Post says that the Mets have conceded they won't be making as lucrative an offer to Barry Zito as the Rangers will, and haven't yet made an offer to Mark Mulder.

The Post also mentions that the Mets have non-tendered Victor Zambrano, a guy coming off of T-J surgery that the Rangers may be interested in taking a look at.

Other interesting non-tenders include Joel Pineiro and Chris Reitsma, while Brandon Claussen was designated for assignment by the Reds.

The New York Daily News reports on the Rangers making a five year contract offer to Zito, and says that the Rangers "will be comfortable" going to a sixth year, and that the Mets appear to be the only other serious contenders.

I imagine that the Rangers are likely to want a "voidable year" clause for year six, and possibly year five, which would be based on innings pitched in previous years, much like they got with Kevin Millwood. I also think that the Rangers are, like with Millwood, going to structure a deal that includes significant deferred payments...that allows Boras to trump the fact that he got his client a six year, $105 million deal (or something like that) when, in reality, it may actually be a four year deal with a couple of vesting options (which is, essentially, what voidable years are) at $15 million per year in present day dollars.

The Boston Globe mentions Akinori Otsuka as a possible trade target of the BoSox, in a piece that includes some info about Gabe Kapler's retirement and decision to become a minor league manager.

And the Philadelphia Inquirer mentions the possibility of an Otsuka for Jon Lieber trade, although I have to think that the Rangers would want more than Lieber for Otsuka.

I'm beginning to think that what we may end up seeing is Otsuka flipped for prospects, that are then used to trade for a starting pitcher from another organization (or used to replace Ranger prospects moved to another organization). A guy to think about if the Rangers do move Otsuka to Boston is Jacob Ellsbury, a guy in the Johnny Damon mold of centerfielders, whom many Ranger fans wanted Texas to draft in 2005...

On the Matsuzaka front, as of 4 a.m. this morning, the report is that Matsuzaka wanted 6 years, $66 million, and the BoSox were willing to do 6 years, $48 million. Supposedly, if Matsuzaka isn't on the plane back to Boston this morning with Henry and Epstein, there's no deal, because Boston won't be able to do a physical otherwise before the deadline. Which leads me to wonder why the BoSox didn't fly their doctors out to the West Coast, so they could do the physical there, if need be...

And finally, I'm heading up to Dallas for the NMLR book release party tonight, and thus will be inactive blogging-wise until tomorrow night, with zywica taking the reins for the next couple of days...

Hope to see a few of you guys at the Tin Star tonight...