Rangers Notes: Washington, Payroll, Morales

Rangers GM Jon Daniels spoke to the media today and already shared some information about his team's plans for Nelson Cruz and Joe Nathan this offseason.  Here's some more from Daniels' press conference and other Ranger-related news items…

  • Daniels said he will speak to manager Ron Washington about a contract extension this winter (via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).  The GM hasn't yet spoken to upper management about extending Washington's deal but Daniels doesn't want Washington to be a lame duck in the final year of his current contract.  It could mirror the situation in January 2012 when Washington was heading into his final year with Texas and signed his current two-year extension.
  • The Rangers' 2014 payroll will be "a little below" its $125.3MM figure from last season, Daniels said (via Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News).  The club has around $85MM committed to nine players next season, plus five arbitration-eligible players.  Since the club will have at least $31MM worth of free agents coming off the books, Grant notes, the Rangers will still have room to spend.
  • The Rangers "certainly have interest" in free agent Kendrys Morales, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports.  Since the Mariners plan to extend a qualifying offer to Morales, signing Morales would cost the Rangers their first-round draft pick as compensation.
  • Also in Sullivan's piece, he breaks down the Rangers' offseason needs and notes that Jurickson Profar's positional future could play a role in Texas' moves.  For instance, the Rangers could experiment with Profar at third base, which would allow Adrian Beltre to save his legs by seeing regular DH at-bats.
  • The firing of bench coach Jackie Moore has generated some rumors of Daniels wanting more influence in on-field decisions, but ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett believes that Daniels is simply trying to find the right coaching mix rather than engaging in a power struggle with Washington or Nolan Ryan.

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