2012 Contract Issues: Texas Rangers

The Rangers are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series.  Here's what the team faces after the 2011 season:

Eligible For Free Agency (5)

  • Starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is the Rangers' key free agent.  The 30-year-old lefty has pitched well to start the 2011 season, trimming his walk rate in his first five starts.  He figures to be a hot commodity if he reaches the open market.  He talked to ESPN's Jayson Stark a couple of weeks ago about free agency, indicating that he'd like to stay in Texas.
  • Brandon Webb remains a wild card.  He is currently working in extended Spring Training, with a minor league rehab assignment the following step.
  • Darren Oliver is the team's de facto closer while Neftali Feliz is out.  If he can approximate his last couple of seasons the Rangers could look to retain him even at age 41.
  • Long relievers Dave Bush and Brett Tomko are also eligible for free agency.

Contract Options (3)

  • Arthur Rhodes: $4MM vesting option.  According to Cot's, this option vests if Rhodes has 62 appearances and doesn't finish 2011 on the DL.  He'll need 55 more appearances to get there.
  • Colby Lewis: $3.25MM club option with a $250K buyout.  So far this season Lewis has posted one decent start in four turns.  Even with an off year, Lewis' $3MM net price would give him trade value at the least.  If the Rangers decline the option they'd probably non-tender Lewis as well.
  • Yoshinori Tateyama.  I'm not sure the nature of Tateyama's option.  At the moment, he's dominating at Triple-A.

Arbitration Eligible (8)

This is a potentially expensive group.  Napoli is off to a great start, but will the Rangers be comfortable paying him $8MM?  A strong season could push Cruz close to $7MM.  Murphy could get $4MM, while Andrus and Harrison could each reach $3MM.  The arbitration eligible tab could approach $30MM, assuming Napoli is retained.

2012 Payroll Obligation

The Rangers' 2012 payroll obligation, according to Cot's, is $70.45MM if Lewis and Rhodes are retained.  $30MM for arbitration eligibles puts them around $100MM, $8MM over this year's payroll.  Just to retain Wilson, the Rangers will need to either raise payroll even higher or shed some salary elsewhere.

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10 Comments on "2012 Contract Issues: Texas Rangers"

4 years 4 months ago

Personally I think Wilson is a tad over rated, being just a little above average and he’ll be 31 next year. I wouldn’t give him more than 4 years/$56MM with a club or vesting option for $16MM. In all likelihood though, he’ll command something like 5 years/$85MM.

4 years 4 months ago

Sooo…you want to give a guy who is, by your definition, “just a little above average” a contract paying him eight figures into his age 35/36 season?

Between this and your remarks about Price yesterday, I imagine you have absolutely no concept of realistic monetary value. Even by baseball standards, giving a guy who’s barely above average that kind of money is ridiculously fiscally irresponsible.

4 years 4 months ago

pretty sure that is the guy who read the ryan howard extension review post and thought we should all evaluate it from howard’s perspective, which he said makes it a great contract

so there’s a bit of insight on his perspective

4 years 4 months ago

I’m pretty sure Ryan Howard’s perspective of the Ryan Howard contract began and ended at “cheesesteaks for life.”

4 years 4 months ago

Wilson needs to walk…

4 years 4 months ago

I don’t mean to be harsh, but why is it taking Brandon Webb three years to throw a baseball? I understand that he’s went through some injuries, but this has to be the longest timetable I’ve ever seen. Maybe he and Kendrys Morales are hanging out together and aren’t worried about coming back to baseball.

4 years 4 months ago

Shoulder injuries are bad news bears for pitchers. Because the joint is a ball and socket joint (vs a hinge joint that is the elbow), one thing wrong can affect any number of others.

Shoulder injuries are as successful as coin flips coming up heads. 50/50

Source: In the medical field. Have been first assist with former Florida Panthers team orthopedic surgeon.

Victor Kipp
4 years 4 months ago

Its really sad what has happened to Web. I mean this guy finished in the top 3 in CY voting 3 yrs in a row and won 1. Just Imagine if Arizona gave him a 7 yr $100mil deal after 2008… I’ve always been wary of giving pitchers big money because their arm is their lives…..Lets try not to be too critical of him because its not our injury or our body and who can say how it feels for him, plus he’s been smart to take his time and build strength. A re-occurrence or another injury would be all it for Webb.

4 years 4 months ago

Honestly, the dude is good but not amazing. He’s gonna get something huge in a relatively thin market, but if we’re talking about WAR and whatnot his is something like 2.0 I believe (maybe it’s changed) but for that and his decent sub-4 career ERA I think 3 years/$40MM is more appropriate.

4 years 4 months ago

His fwar and brwar were both 4.4 last year what are you talking about? If your going back to previous years he wasn’t a starter so those stats don’t really mean anything