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Early Thursday morning items

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that a Mark Mulder decision is imminent and that the Cards are going to make their final pitch, maybe this afternoon. I'm thinking that Texas is the third horse in this three horse race, which is probably just as well.

Evan Grant says that Mark Loretta has ruled the Rangers out, as he doesn't think he'd get enough playing time as the right handed DH and backup infield guy. Grant mentions Joaquin Arias (Flaco Joaqo to you and me) as a backup option, which seems like a really bad idea for both the Rangers and Arias.

As Adam suggested a few days ago, unless something surprising (to me anyway) happens with Mulder or the Rangers have some unknown interest in another starter, it looks like the extent of their activity in free agency from here on will be looking around at utility infielders and maybe finding another backup catcher candidate to compete with Quiroz and Ojeda. There's always time for a meaningful trade, and there are hints that there could be a good amount of activity around baseball between now and spring training, with various holes here and there not having been filled. But Daniels made both of his big trades last winter in December, just as he made his one big one this winter before the end of the year. Seems like, at least once Mulder is settled, Daniels' bullets have been fired, and we're basically looking at the spring training roster already.