The Texas Rangers announced today that they have agreed to terms with all 24 of their non-arbitration-eligible players on the 40 man roster. As a result, all 40 players who are on the 40 man roster are now officially under contract.
This is generally not a major issue for any team — the players on the 40 man roster who weren’t signed to major league deals as free agents and who weren’t arbitration eligible have no leverage, and teams can essentially sign them to whatever amount the team wants, so long as it is at least the league minimum. Most teams, including the Rangers, have a scale they apply based on service time to determine how much above league minimum a player will be offered.
Occasionally a player will refuse to sign the contract offered by the team — in that case, the team has the right to simply renew the players contract for the league minimum (or whatever amount above that the team deems appropriate). A player refusing to sign is essentially a symbolic gesture, a way of registering their objection to whatever amount the team has offered. It gets a few lines in a spring training story, and then everyone moves on.
In this case, given that John Blake says the Rangers “have agreed to terms with 24 players” on one year deals, I think we can assume that the team didn’t have to unilaterally renew a deal for an unhappy player who refused to sign.