Other than the continuing wait on Barry Zito and Mark Mulder, there's really not much to obsess over until then.
Evan Grant says the Rangers have talked to Rod Barajas's reps about the possibility of him coming back to back up Gerald Laird. I'd pass. Grant also mentions Barajas as a possible occasional DH, but I can't imagine a scenario where I'd want him DHing in the Ranger lineup.
Interesting note on Zito from Grant, as well...
Rangers have offered Zito a six-year contract while New York has reportedly discussed a five-year deal worth about $70 million. The Rangers offer is believed to be worth more in total dollars, but close to the Mets in average annual value.
Not sure if that means that the Rangers are offering the same per year over six years as the Mets are for five, or if the Rangers are offering more deferred money, making the total size of the package sound bigger, while being worth the same in today's dollars.
I wouldn't be surprised if it is the latter, given that that is how Boras often likes to structure deals, to make them sound more lucrative. That's why I also think the suggestions that the Rangers will go, say, $95 million but not $100 million are probably erroneous...Tom Hicks and Jon Daniels understand finances and the time value of money, and if they have to defer money and monkey with interest rates to make the deal appear worth $100 million to get it done, even if it is actually worth $90 million or however much in 2007 dollars, then they will.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that the Rangers are one of the teams that will supposedly pursue Jeff Suppan if they don't get Barry Zito, although T.R. Sullivan indicated yesterday that the Rangers aren't interested in Suppan.
Evan Grant thinks the Rangers will get Zito, and says point-blank that if the Mets don't go six years, that Zito will be a Ranger.
Ken Rosenthal argues that Barry Zito would be making a mistake in going to Texas rather than the Mets, as he'd be hurting his legacy...and Rosenthal seems to suggest that, even if Zito ends up in Texas, he'll be wanting out of Texas soon thereafter.