I can understand the Rangers' decision not to moneywhip someone like Kyle Farnsworth to come to Texas.
I can understand passing on lefty bullpen arms like Will Ohman.
I generally think paying "market value" on the free agent market for relievers is bad business.
However...the Royals signed Juan Cruz on February 28. That was after the Rangers knew Joaquin Benoit and Eric Hurley were going to be out most of, if not all of, 2009.
Cruz signed a 2 year, $6 million deal with Kansas City, with a 3rd year option. $2.25 million this year, $3.25 million next year, a $4 million option in 2011 with a $500K buyout.
If Cruz's arm doesn't fall off, that's a steal for Kansas City.
And Cruz would probably be (as I said back in February) the best reliever in ae Ranger bullpen that looks like the biggest weakness on the club.
Jim Reeves said back in February the Rangers were interested in Cruz, but simply couldn't afford Cruz, and weren't willing to add any salary. However, they were apparently willing to add salary -- a bunch of it -- for Ben Sheets, and pay him in 2009 about as much as Cruz will make all three years of his deal if his option is exercised.
So here's what I want to know...why isn't Juan Cruz a Ranger? Did the front office want him, but Hicks didn't want to pay? Or did the front office feel that they were just as well served with the Turnbow/Eyre/Donnelly grab-bag, and that adding Juan Cruz wouldn't have been a significant improvement to the team?