A few things I wanted to touch on this evening...
As I'm typing this, the A's are down 6 in the 8th inning, so barring a major, major comeback, the Rangers are still going to be in first place going into tomorrow. So that's a good thing...
John Sickels reviews his pre-season top 20 Rangers prospects. Of the guys who made his list, Kinsler, Botts and Littleton are no longer really "prospects" anymore, Sinisi has been traded, and McDougall has been released.
Reviewing the list, you really see how the system is hurting from the lack of development of some of the mid-level guys. Numbers 6-15 on Sickels' list are:
Of the 8 who are still prospects and still here, I don't think any of them have done anything to raise their stock.
Jeff Passan takes a look at the 2006-07 free agency class. It is a rather underwhelming group...his top 25 includes 2 Japanese players, Adam Eaton, and Shea Hillenbrand. I can't imagine that the Rangers will be heavy after many positional players in free agency -- maybe a right fielder if they deal Kevin Mench, maybe a centerfielder if they can't re-sign GMJ and don't want to give the job to Freddy Guzman -- but they would seem likely to be in the starting pitching market, particularly if Vicente Padilla and Adam Eaton both leave.
Passan projects Gary Sheffield at 1 year, $9 million, which I'd be happy to see the Rangers get in on. He also projects Alfonso Soriano at 5 years, $67.5 million, and Carlos Lee at 5 years, $62.5 million, both of which are pretty ugly.
Two free agent pitchers I think the Rangers are going to be in on are Ted Lilly and Andy Pettitte...they've been after Lilly for a long time, and Pettitte, while not an ace, is a solid veteran lefthander who lives in Deer Park and who, if he doesn't opt to stay in Houston, may look at the Rangers as a reasonable, nearby alternative.