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Some Evening Randomness

Peter Gammons has a collection of spring quotes from anonymous execs and scouts, which includes a couple of items on Rangers:

• "What disappointed me most in Texas is Jarrod Saltalamacchia's receiving. He struggled behind the plate, and I loved him last year. Hopefully, it's a confidence thing because he was rough back there." For what it's worth, Bobby Cox liked his catching above his bat.

• "The best-looking player in Arizona has been Josh Hamilton. His power has been nothing short of spectacular."

Gammons also has some love for Edinson Volquez, and says no one can understand why the Rangers wouldn't deal Marlon Byrd for Matt Murton.

I think the bulk of it has to do with Byrd's leadership and defense making him more valuable, in the minds of the Rangers, than Murton...but here's something else to think about...

PECOTA's 2008 projection for Murton: .295/.359/.462, .276 EQA

PECOTA's 2008 projection for Byrd:  .275/.331/.430, .270 EQA

If the difference between the two, offensively, is that slight, the defense probably gives Byrd the edge.

Incidentally, the issue of Marlon Byrd's leadership and defense -- and the increased importance the front office has put on outfield defense -- is something Jamey Newberg and I talk about in the inaugural Rangers podcast we did tonight, which should be available in the next day or so.

Ryan Drese got sent out by the Braves today.  This outing -- which featured 6 runs in one inning on one hit, 6 walks, a HBP, and a WP -- probably sealed his fate.

Speaking of former Rangers pitchers who had brief flashes of success here...

Quick...what year did Aaron Fultz pitch like an all-star for the Rangers for the first two months of the season?

It was 2003...then he ran into a fence shagging balls in the outfield, hurting himself, and wasn't the same after that.  And he's also out of a job today, with the Indians -- who had picked up his $1.5 million option for 2008 this offseason -- deciding they really didn't need him after all.

Kevin Goldstein does a "State of the System" rundown for the A.L. West, with, of course, some love for the Rangers.  He gives odds for each team as to who will be that team's top prospect next year, with Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus, and Engel Beltre being the three leading choices for Texas.