1. Nolan Ryan apparently doesn't care to make a big statement about his desire to retain Jon Daniels, but at least Chuck Greenberg does. He said during his DMN chat yesterday:
Q: General Manager Jon Daniels can opt out of his contract after this season. What are the odds that the Rangers lose him?
Greenberg: Hopefully, zero. JD has done a tremendous job not only in the decisions he has made, but of equal importance, with the team he has built around him. Keeping that group in place is critical.
2. Much has been made about the club's future payroll and ability to re-sign Cliff Lee, but there are more immediate monetary questions to be asked. The Rangers still must sign Luke Jackson, though all signs point to that happening and the Rangers just waiting until August 16 per MLB guidelines on over-slot deals. But the club also drafted a handful of interesting talents in the middle rounds (including Justin Grimm, Nick Tepesch, Garrett Buechele and Brian Ragira - the last two being longshots to sign with local ties) that they would have been stretched to sign under MLB budgetary restrictions. If the Greenberg group assumes control this week as expected, my hope is that there is some money available to round out their draft class.
3. Possibly more significant, the Rangers were forced to punt this international signing period ... at least initially. Because many players have questions surrounding possible use of performance enhancers in addition to now standard age and identity issues, there are still several promising players available. The Rangers were closely linked to Esteilon Peguero, the top ranked talent according to Baseball America, before their exit from the signing period. BA even called them a possible favorite to land the big bat. I don't know what kind of money they have available or how much their step back for the past few months would cost them, but there are still several good players out there, and Texas could easily jump back into the fray in a big way if they have the money.
4. Jon Daniels mentioned Wednesday on the radio that the PTBNL from the Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade would likely be announced "this week or so." Today is five days, so that should come down in the next day or so. Daniels also gave a description of the last player they're receiving:
"He's not going to be a Baseball America big prospect name, but he's a pretty interesting guy that I'll be able to talk about more once we close the deal."
The timing of this suggests that both prevailing notions - that he's a 2009 draftee who can't be dealt until the anniversary of his signing date, or that the deal was done so hastily that the Rangers were given a list of names and allowed to follow them for a bit before finalizing - are still valid. However, the fact that Daniels speaks of a specific player makes me lean toward the 2009 draftee angle, and the Red Sox did sign some guys just in advance of last August 17's deadline.
5. Whither the Frisco Roughriders? Now, obviously, it makes too much sense for Frisco to be a Rangers affiliate, and that almost certainly won't change. I'm just curious specifically about what becomes of Frisco ownership.
Nolan Ryan didn't shy away from the possibility of Round Rock switching affiliations, and rumors are that the Astros may go for a straight swap and move to OKC. I have more interest in incorporating a visit to Round Rock than Oklahoma City in a weekend trip, but the economics and impact on regional fandom would be interesting to track.
With a little shuffling apparently going down in the Cal League, hope may be alive that the Rangers can get out of Bakersfield. Here's hoping that they get out of that league altogether and move back east for their High A affiliate.