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Wednesday morning things

Have I mentioned that I hate cold weather? There's a reason why I live in Texas...

Anyway, not a lot going on out there at the moment, other than the Sammy Sosa drama. And I'm a little more sanguine about it than I was yesterday morning. I'm still don't want Sosa on the roster instead of Jason Botts, but I've decided that if they are just going to take a look at him in spring training, then I can live with it.

It isn't like the Sandy Alomar, Jr., signing, where the g.m. immediately came out after it happened and announced that Gerald Laird, the previous season's starting catcher, was going back to AAA. Daniels hasn't indicated that Botts is bound for Oklahoma again. This move is still on probation, though...

Jan Hubbard reported on a Rangers town hall meeting from yesterday, and has this from Thad Levine on the Sosa situation:

"We have a lot of internal options," Levine said. "Jason Botts will be competing for that, Victor Diaz, Marlon Byrd. [Sosa] would be competing for a spot with those guys and whoever won the job won the job."

The Rangers expect to hear from Sosa in the next few days, but if he does not accept their contract offer, they are comfortable with the group competing but might look for another right-handed hitter to compete for the DH spot in spring training.

After thinking about it, this is what I've concluded...if the Rangers really didn't intend to give Jason Botts a serious look in this role, they'd want a better option than Sammy Sosa as the alternative.

Signing Craig Wilson means Botts is toast. Signing Sosa, or someone similar on a minor league deal, seems to be more of an insurance policy.

Phil Rogers has a piece in the Chicago Tribune on Sosa's attempt to resurrect his career, which includes rather extensive quotes from Rudy Jaramillo.

Which shouldn't be surprising, since Buster Olney suggests that Rudy is one of the ones driving the "bring Sosa to Texas" train. Again, this makes me wonder what Rudy is saying to management about Jason Botts and his swing.

Jean-Jacques Taylor says that the Rangers should stay away from Sosa, saying that he can't play and would be a distraction in the clubhouse.

Nate Silver also says Texas should stay away from Sosa:

There's little reason to believe that Sosa is better than a replacement-level alternative at this point; in fact, PECOTA thinks he's quite a bit worse than replacement level. I understand the counter-argument: let's bring him up to training camp and see what happens. What can be the harm in that? The harm is not if Sosa looks bad in spring training, but if he looks good -- it ain't hard to look good in March against Grapefruit League pitching. Then, he winds up taking away at bats from Jason Botts or someone similar in what's looking like a very winnable division. Steroids or no, 38-year-old hitters don't see their OPS decline for five years in a row, take a year off, and find the magic elixir of Minnie Minoso.

And before you scoff at the notion of Sosa being done, but having a solid spring...Phil Nevin had a solid performance, including 5 homers, last spring. Remember the "Nevin for MVP" campaign?

In non-Sosa news, the other interesting tidbit Hubbard reports on from the town hall meeting is Thad Levine saying that the Rangers were going to look at Joaquin Arias in centerfield. Given that Michael Young is at shortstop right now, and that the Rangers have made it clear they want Young at shortstop for the foreseeable future, that may be the only way for Arias to get a major league job with the organization. Levine also suggests that Arias's future may be as a "super utility guy," which would make playing centerfield much more necessary...