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Thursday a.m. things

A couple of interesting moves yesterday, with Ben Broussard coming aboard and Akinori Otsuka being non-tendered.

We could still see some moves later this offseason, but I'm starting to think we've got a good idea of how the opening day roster is going to shake out...

Broussard and Chris Shelton platoon at first base. Yeah, I know Shelton has something of a reverse split historically, but I think there are some sample size issues there.

Kinsler at second base, Young at shortstop, Blalock at third base. Saltalamacchia and Laird behind the plate.

David Murphy plays centerfield, I presume. If Milton Bradley is healthy, he goes to right field, with Frank Catalanotto and Marlon Byrd platooning in left. If he's not healthy enough to play in the field, I guess Byrd plays right field, and Cat and Jason Botts platoon in left field, with Bradley DHing.

Ramon Vazquez is the utility infielder. And that gives you 13 position players, which is what the Rangers are likely to carry.

Barring a trade, the only change I could see to that group, assuming everyone is healthy, is Nelson Cruz sticking instead of Jason Botts.

Jeff Wilson quotes Jon Daniels as saying that the Rangers would still like to add an outfielder, but if they don't, they are comfortable going with the group they have.

Evan Grant has comments from Jon Daniels on the Akinori Otsuka non-tender:

"We just weren't comfortable not having seen him on the mound for several months," Daniels said. "We talked about a shared risk deal, but the financial information we got just didn't make much sense. All the reports [about Otsuka's health] have been positive, but the bottom line is he hasn't thrown for a number of months, and there was real concern."

Bottom line, if the team doesn't think Otsuka will be healthy for 2008, the non-tender makes sense. If they think he will be healthy, it doesn't make sense, because as I mentioned last night, Otsuka's salary through arbitration wasn't going to be prohibitive. I'll be interested in seeing what sort of contract he ends up signing, because that will give us a better idea of whether this move was a mistake.

Richard Durrett says C.J. Wilson is the closer now. Which is fine with me.