Not long ago cold winters were warmed by the prospects of hot players. Back then the Rangers flirted with Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke and Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder.
Now? Grab a blanket.
Because while the Marlins and Red Sox open their checkbooks for Giancarlo Stanton and Pablo Sandoval, the Rangers are back to being a big-market team with small-time financial options. As in, ownership is committing to not raising payroll in 2015. So, during the hot stove season anyway, it’d be wise not raise expectations.
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A trade here or there? Sure. But a big-fish catch along the lines of Jon Lester or Max Scherzer or even old friend Nelson Cruz? Nope.
The Rangers’ payroll last season was $133 million and they’re already committed to $118 million next season. That leaves $15 million to spend this winter, which is like going to the grocery store only for milk and bread.
What it means it that ownership, despite the lucrative TV contract, is being prudent in its spending in the wake of shelling out big bucks for Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo and the significant drop in attendance this season and likely next. What it means for the Rangers is that any drastic improvement next season has to come from within.
Said general manager Jon Daniels at a press conference two weeks ago, “We’ve said we’re not going to be in on the big boys.”
Welcome to a long, cold winter.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.