View Full Version : Rangers poised to make run at Lee?
08-13-2010, 10:23 PM
My worst nightmare. I hope the Yankees absolutely blow the Rangers out of the water to get him.
New Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg declined to say if next season's payroll might reach as high as the mercury during these triple-digit days but with a wry smile said the franchise is prepared financially to keep the club intact -- including ace pitcher Cliff Lee.
"We feel like we have a pretty good handle on how to keep this team together with Cliff as a part of it," Greenberg said Friday as the new ownership group was introduced after being approved my MLB owners on Thursday. "It's nothing that frightens us. We'd be real happy going into next season with that group at the cost that we project."
Lee (10-5, 2.57 ERA), whom the Rangers acquired before the trade deadline, will become a free agent in the offseason. Greenberg sounded confident that the Rangers will have the resources to make Lee financially happy, even bidding against the free-spending New York Yankees.
08-14-2010, 12:32 AM
Not sure what I think of this. Are the Rangers going to expand payroll with Nolan Ryan? If not, I don't mind seeing them tie up their payroll on one pitcher (yes, one VERY GOOD pitcher).
08-14-2010, 09:35 AM
Apparently, new management is already willing to junk the projected 2011 payroll it had in favor of a larger figure that might accommodate the re-signing of Cliff Lee.
"The original model we had has been discarded," he said Friday afternoon. "Our payroll projections are much more aggressive."
That could allow for making a bid for Lee, who is likely to command upward of $20 million per year, much more realistic. During the bankruptcy process, it was revealed that management had suggested payrolls of $77 million for 2011 and $84 million for 2012.
Based on existing long-term contract obligations, upcoming salary arbitration hearings and the free agent market, it would likely take between $85-90 million to keep the current club together if Lee is offered a contract with an annual value of $20 million or more and other key free agents (Vladimir Guerrero, for example) are retained.
08-14-2010, 12:40 PM
I can't tell you how many times I said "I hope the Rangers trade for him, we'll take their talent, of which they have an embarrassment of riches, and there's NO WAY they'll be able to sign Cliff Lee, they're bankrupt! It's perfect!" before the trade. Some people warned me that bankruptcy is complicated and doesn't necessarily mean they can't spend. I looked at it like they were going to do the whole "write a bunch of bad checks before your inevitable bankruptcy" thing. Here's the thing to remember though, the Rangers have done this before, and will very little success. They have a lot of young up and comers that are about to get really expensive. The problem is that they also have, even after their trades, a kick ass farm system talent wise. If they start spending... It could get ugly. Remember as well, Arte Moreno is going to have to push back to keep up, and this is the same thing that happened when he bought the Angels. He started spending wildly, then had to chill it back. If you watch the Angels the last couple years, they'll be competitive with free agents, but they draw a line and won't go crazy for them. The M's are not going to get into that. We're going young and cheap. We have no choice.
I've often speculated that the drop in payroll is not totally a budget cut, but that it may be a deal where the front office didn't see the right players at the right positions they needed to fill, and instead of grabbing the best available guy at the time, they were willing to wait for the "right" guy to spend that money. Baseball contracts are guaranteed, as we know, so if you go out and get Victor Martinez to play catcher for the M's for 10-12 million a year, and then Adam Moore turns into Victor Martinez, but is blocked by Martinez' contract, then you essentially just wasted 8-10 million. It's a tough choice, because after 2011 Silvadley comes off the books, Jack Wilson, and the last year of paying Betancourt... That's 20+ million dollars folks. Now, arbitration will cut into that as well, and Felix's contract is backloaded, but this year we have Snell, Cliff Lee (...sigh), Griffey, Kotchman, and probably Lopez coming off as well. That's about 19 million before arbitration and backloaded contracts (like Guti). I won't even get into Ichiro.
^^Mariners pre-season contract spreadsheet.
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