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Evan Grant chat session up

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Evan Grant has a chat transcript up, and there's a lot of good stuff in there, hitting on the Blake Beavan situation (and explaining why the Rangers aren't just going to cave and give him an extra $100K, the possibility of a Sosa trade (Grant thinks it is more likely he's released), and Gerald Laird's disappointing performance this year...

He also has this on a couple of free agent outfielder possibilities:

I understand that Torii Hunter is a prime target for the Rangers this off-season because of his ties to the area. But is he really worth five years and $70 million? He will be 33 next season and is losing a bit of a step in the field. Wouldn't it be smarter to go after Aaron Rowand, who is only 28 and would come much cheaper?

Evan Grant: I'd take either. Would prefer both (if Rowand would play a corner). Your question on Hunter sounds a bit like what Angels fans would have asked about Gary Matthews Jr. this winter. He's worked out well for Los Angeles. Hunter is probably going to cost right about what you suggest, but I think for the first two or three years of that contract he's still going to be an exceptional center fielder. In the latter stages, maybe not so much. Maybe he becomes a corner. Nothing wrong with that. But I'd go after either player this winter and if I got one, I'd be convinced I'd upgraded my team significantly.

If Angels fans are happy with a .271 EQA and middling defense from a guy who turns 33 in a month and who is in the first year of a 5 year, $50 million deal, then they are deluding themselves.

But the problem with giving Torii Hunter huge dollars is that he's a good, not great, player entering his 30s. You already have Michael Young getting $16 million per year from 2009-13...if you give Hunter the $15-17 million per year for 5 years he supposedly wants, you are tying up at least a third of your payroll on two declining players who, even at their best, are solid contributors rather than superstars.

If you did add Rowand and Hunter, you'd probably want Rowand in centerfield instead of in a corner slot, because he's the superior defensive player. But while that would give you a very nice defensive outfield, unless you think this season is a new performance level from Rowand, you aren't getting much offensive impact from either of those two slots.

I liked the idea of targeting Rowand this offseason initially, but with his breakout and the fact that teams are likely to be leery of Hunter's salary demands, I think Rowand is going to end up getting seriously overpaid by a team hoping that he'll continue hitting like he has in 2007 over the next several years.

I don't think Jermaine Dye is much of an answer, either, for that matter...if the Rangers decide that Marlon Byrd can't hack it in center, I'd rather see the Rangers bring Lofton back on a one year deal, or go after Mike Cameron on a two year contract, than commit huge dollars to Hunter or Rowand.