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Saturday morning Rangers things

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Lots of stories out of Surprise today...

There's a story up with quotes from guys like Michael Young and Rich Harden expressing optimism about this Ranger team, with Nolan Ryan saying that, if the Rangers don't win the division, he'll be disappointed.

T.R. Sullivan writes about the Rangers' closer situationFrank Francisco is the closer right now, but he missed time last season with three separate disabled list stints, and he's a free agent after the season, which means that guys like C.J. Wilson, Neftali Feliz, and Chris Ray are going to be, in part, auditioning for the 2011 closer role.  And there is also Tanner Scheppers, who some believe can be a shutdown closer as soon as now.

(As a sidenote, if you type Frank Francisco into the SBN photo search thing, you get a lot of Frank Gore pictures.)

Jesse Sanchez has a story up about the return of Omar Beltre and Alexi Ogando to the U.S., after a half-decade of banishment.

Anthony Andro has some notes from spring training, including Josh Hamilton's prediction that the Rangers will win 96 games.

Sullivan writes that Taylor Teagarden is turning some heads early on, as he vies for the starting catcher job.  Richard Durrett has a piece on Teagarden which includes quite a few quotes from the former Longhorn.

Ben Rogers defends C.J. Wilson after his comments from earlier this week, calling Wilson "motivated."

Rod Barajas looks likely to sign with the Mets, rather than the Rangers.  This isn't really surprising...while both teams were offering minor league deals, Barajas would join the Mets as the favorite to be the starting catcher on Opening Day, while he'd be insurance for the Rangers, in case something happened to Taylor Teagarden or Jarrod Saltalamacchia.