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Sunday morning stuff

Don't look now, but after last night's loss, the Rangers are just a game above .500, and just three games up on the hated Seamen...

The possibility exists that this team could not just finish below .500, but finish last in the A.L. West...

Evan Grant discusses the possibility of Josh Rupe stepping into the Ranger rotation in 2007. Grant -- along with a lot of Rangers fans, it seems -- is fine with Vicente Padilla leaving.

I see folks talking about the Rangers' free agent priorities, with GMJ, Eaton and DeRosa all listed as priorities ahead of Padilla.

Personally, of all the free agents the Rangers have, I'd mark Padilla as the most important one to bring back. It is like giving away Chris Young last offseason...I don't see why you have a guy who has shown that he can have success pitching in Texas, and not make every effort to hang onto him, given the problems the team has had attracting and developing quality pitchers.

My free agent priority list -- taking into account the likely cost of keeping the players involved -- is:

  1. Vicente Padilla
  2. GMJ
  3. Mark DeRosa
  4. Kip Wells
  5. Adam Eaton
Carlos Lee, Rod Barajas, and JHJ, I've got no interest in retaining.

And for that matter, the top two players on my list are the only ones I'm all that concerned about...if the Rangers keep GMJ and Padilla, and lose all their other free agents, that's fine with me.

Jim Reeves' Postcards from the Ledge includes a tribute to Rangers' administrator Judy Johns, who had been with the team since it came to Texas. Johns died this past week of pancreatic cancer.

Reeves also has praise for Ian Kinsler, and criticizes MLB for threatening to screw around with draft pick compensation for 2006-07 free agents so late in the game, although I tend to believe that draft pick compensation will stay in place, because I don't think that MLB will be able to get a new deal in place before the free agent period starts.

Gil LeBreton grouses about another disappointing Ranger season, and gives a list of things the Rangers need to do if they really appreciate the fans.

And Kat O'Brien's notes include a mention of Frankie Francisco's velocity returning, and that Joaquin Arias will be making his first major league start today, at shortstop.