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Tuesday a.m. things

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You know, it feels a lot better to know that the Rangers have Millwood and Padilla at the top of their rotation, rather than just Millwood. Some of the anxiety over the offseason has dissipated, for me, anyway.

3 years, $33-34 million, plus a 4th year option for Padilla...I've got pretty much the same reaction to this deal that I did with the Cat deal. Not thrilled about the amount of money, don't think the Rangers got a steal or anything, but given the needs of the team and the state of the market, this is a solid signing. The 4th year option is reportedly at $12 million, so if Padilla continues to pitch the next three years like he did last year, then that option becomes a pretty nice little bonus for the Rangers.

Over at BTF, the reaction to the deal is decidedly negative, and falls into two categories:

  1. Tom Hicks sure does overpay, and
  2. Vicente Padilla is a drunk.
Now the Rangers need to find one more veteran starter, and they should be done with seeking pitching for this offseason.

Could that guy be Jon Lieber? The Philadelphia Daily News has a piece on the various connections between the Phillies and Rangers, and discusses the plethora of relievers that the Rangers have that could interest Pat Gillick. The Rangers have supposedly been interested in Aaron Rowand, but if a deal could be expanded to include Rowand and Lieber, that would be something you'd have to look closely at, I've gotta think.

Throwing cold water on the notion, though, is the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reports that the Rangers don't have the pitching the Phillies want in order to part with Rowand.

The Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post both mention the Rangers as in on Jason Jennings, with C.J. Wilson mentioned by the Post as someone the Rockies would be interested in.

The Denver Post also reports that the Rangers are interested in Clint Barmes, if he becomes available. He'd be a decent utility infield option.

On the Barry Zito front, Phil Rogers suggests that, while the Rangers are the front-runners on Zito, he may not really be happy playing for Texas.

John Harper of the NY Daily News says that the Mets aren't interested in paying Zito the 6 years, $90 million he's asking for, and he also spends a few paragraphs painting Tom Hicks as a free-spending victim of Scott Boras's wily charms, who is ruining the Mets' chances by foolishly overpaying for Zito.

Joel Sherman suggests that the Mets are slipping back in the Zito race, and offers this on Tom Hicks' interest in Zito:

Texas owner Tom Hicks has done extravagant deals with Boras before and, therefore, the Rangers are viewed as the team most likely to extend the highest bid. However, an executive familiar with the Rangers' thinking said Texas was interested in Zito "but not at those levels."

The New York Daily News reports that the Mets aren't going to get into a bidding war with the Rangers, but that the teams have had trade discussions, with the Rangers asking for Mike Pelfrey in exchange for Akinori Otsuka, or, alternatively, John Maine and Brian Bannister.

Kat O'Brien reports in the S-T that the Rangers' wealth of young relievers has other teams sniffing around. O'Brien says that, among young players and prospects, C.J. Wilson, Nick Masset, Joaquin Arias, John Danks, and Eric Hurley have garnered the most interest.

O'Brien also says that, while the Rangers aren't looking to deal Akinori Otsuka, they are willing to do it to get the right starting pitcher.