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Rangers can't fit Thomson, Palmeiro into budget

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Rangers can't fit Thomson, Palmeiro into budget

Postby wrveres » Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:31 pm

By T.R. Sullivan Star-Telegram Staff Writer wrote:

ARLINGTON - The Rangers emerged from two days of planning sessions realizing that pitcher John Thomson and first baseman Rafael Palmeiro won't be with them next year but shortstop Alex Rodriguez likely will.

Facing financial limitations that haven't changed, the Rangers have decided they can't afford either Thomson or Palmeiro. They also aren't planning to offer salary arbitration to either one by Sunday.

General manager John Hart has stayed in touch with Chris Arnold, Thomson's agent, but Hart doesn't see a deal getting done before Sunday's deadline.

"I'm sure they're waiting to see what happens on [ Sunday]," Hart said. "From a financial standpoint, they have bigger ideas than what we can afford."

Hart also spoke with Fern Cuza, Palmeiro's agent, on Wednesday to discuss what the Rangers are willing to do, and Hart said he does not see a deal getting done.

"We explained our position," Hart said. "The dollars don't seem to work at this stage. I don't think they work at any stage."

By not offering them arbitration, the Rangers will lose negotiating rights to both until May 1.

The one person Hart said he hasn't spoken to lately is Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. The Red Sox are interested in trading outfielder Manny Ramirez for shortstop Alex Rodriguez, but the Rangers aren't interested in that, not unless they get serious financial considerations that would allow them to be much more aggressive in the free-agent market.

There is no sign of that happening, and the Rangers expect Rodriguez to be with them in spring training.

"I've said that all along, that was where I see it going," Hart said.

Hart spent the past two days with owner Tom Hicks, manager Buck Showalter, assistant general manager Grady Fuson and others to figure out what the Rangers can do on a payroll in the mid-$70 million range.

Hart reiterated that the Rangers will not be big spenders in the free-agent market, and their main focus is starting pitching, right-handed relief and a corner outfielder.

As much as the Rangers are concerned about center field, Hart doesn't see a free agent who could fit within their strict budget. Mike Cameron and Kenny Lofton are the top center fielders on the market.

"Ideally you'd like to get a center fielder who can do a lot of things for you," Hart said. "There might be one or two out there like Cameron, like Lofton. But we have a limited chance of getting involved with them."

The Rangers will instead look for someone who can play left or right field, although there is a possibility that Mark Teixeira could move to the outfield and a free-agent first baseman could be signed.

"We'd like to leave Teixeira at first base but that doesn't necessarily mean we will," Hart said.

The Rangers would like to upgrade their bullpen, but they aren't looking for a closer. Jeff Zimmerman will begin throwing next week, and the Rangers hope he will be back in spring training to combine with Francisco Cordero at the end of the game. The Rangers want to give them some help, and right-handers Kerry Ligtenberg and Jason Grimsley are high on the list.

That leaves starting pitching, and the Rangers are focusing on a group that includes Brett Tomko, Jeff Suppan, Miguel Batista, Sterling Hitchcock and Pedro Astacio.

"We've said all along we're going to be slow players," Hart said. "We just have limitations, that hasn't changed. Having Tom [in on the meetings] was good for us, but nothing's different than it was before."


I think all of this was already known, right mad ???
Last edited by wrveres on Fri Dec 05, 2003 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Madison » Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:40 pm

Yep, that's what I've been saying. :-)

Palmeiro is too expensive. Thomson turned down a 2 year, $5 million offer, so not likely to keep him either.

Now, let's go get Miggy Batista. :-)
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Postby DieHardCubbie » Thu Dec 04, 2003 8:12 pm

Hart reiterated that the Rangers will not be big spenders in the free-agent market, and their main focus is starting pitching, right-handed relief and a corner outfielder.


Sorry Madison....looks like the Rangers are going to be in for another long season.... :-/
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Postby Madison » Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:29 pm

Yeah, probably. I can still hope for the best though. ;-)
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Postby Mad'sWife » Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:19 pm

I am still trying to figure out why they said they are looking for an outfeilder. :-?

That is the one position that the Rangers should have no problem filling from within their oun club.
We either make ourselves happy or miserable.

The amount of work is the same.
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Postby Madison » Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:27 pm

I think the Rangers need to realize that their new center fielder is staring them in the face. Ramon Nivar is the man to have there starting on day 1 of the season.

Now if only they will figure it out in time..........
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Postby Mad'sWife » Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:56 pm

Unfortunately Spring Training might be when they figure it out ( :-o ). But I just don't think that will be soon enough.

Pitching is really the only position they should be looking for right now.

Their outfeild is good if they would just look at it. I like Tex at first, Young at 2nd, Arod at short, Blalock at 3rd. The only infeild position I really have a problem with (besides pitching of course) is catcher.
We either make ourselves happy or miserable.

The amount of work is the same.
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Postby Madison » Fri Dec 05, 2003 2:13 pm

Ramon Nivar - OF - Texas Rangers Dec 1

Ramon Nivar went 6-for-6 yesterday for Escogido of the Dominican Winter League.
He's 9-for-10 over the last two days. The second baseman-turned-center fielder has established himself as one of the best hitters for average in the minors. Because he needs to work on his defense, he'll likely start next season in Triple-A. However, he might not stay there for long.


Nivar is tearing up winter ball. Hopefully, the Rangers are paying attention.

I say focus on pitching, and only pitching. :-)
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Postby DieHardCubbie » Sun Dec 07, 2003 4:54 pm

Shh Madison....This kids name doesn't need to get out too much....atleast until after all my drafts are done..... :-D
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Postby DK » Sun Dec 07, 2003 5:28 pm

DieHardCubbie wrote:Shh Madison....This kids name doesn't need to get out too much....atleast until after all my drafts are done..... :-D


Agreed.....SHHH..... :D
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