The Texas Rangers 2015 payroll will likely be very similar to the $133 million Opening Day payroll this year, according to Evan Grant.
Grant says that, despite the significant drop in attendance this year, the start of the new TV contract in 2015 will help make up some of that revenue shortfall, and as a result, the Rangers are looking at having around $20 million to spend this offseason.
The Rangers have a little over $100 million owed to nine players for 2015:
Add in Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando through arbitration, and that's another $7 million. Include another $5 million for players on minimum contracts, and if payroll remains in the $130-135 million range, there's not a lot left over for spending.
Which is why the Rangers appear to have interest in bringing Colby Lewis back -- he can give the team innings at the back of the rotation, and will likely only cost a few million. That's also why it seems likely that the Rangers are more likely to fill the other rotation spot via a trade, seeking a #2 or #3 that would only cost $10-12 million in 2015, instead of going into the free agent market and committing $20 million plus per year for multiple years for a Max Scherzer, Jon Lester or James Shields.
This is also why the performance of players like Ryan Rua, Jake Smolinski and Daniel Robertson are important...it is likely that the Rangers are going to fill at least one of the COF/DH holes internally, and if Robertson, for example, can be part of a platoon, or Rua shows that he can hold his own in the majors, that should provide a little more confidence that such a setup can work. That means that the Rangers could, potentially, devote more resources to someone like Yasmany Tomas, the Cuban defector they worked out yesterday, or someone like Colby Rasmus, rather than having to go find multiple $2 million players just to have bodies to plug into the lineup.
And looking at the need the Rangers have to fill out the rotation is another harsh reminder...the injuries to Martin Perez and Matt Harrison are a killer. A healthy Perez and Harrison would completely change the dynamic of the 2015 team. Alas...