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Rangers Make Arbitration Decisions, Don't Offer Vladimir Guerrero

The Rangers had four Type A free agents leading into today and three difficult decisions among them. They chose to offer Cliff Lee and Frank Francisco arbitration and to not offer Vladimir Guerrero or Bengie Molina. They will collect two draft picks if Lee goes elsewhere, and if Francisco does not accept the offer of arbitration, his exit would also earn Texas two picks.

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Declining to offer the older veterans arbitration was probably an easier decision than might have appeared at face value. Both are on the back side of their 30s and would likely get larger contracts via arb than if they could on the open market. The Rangers can still negotiate with them and could easily bring either or both back for next season. In the mean time, catcher and designated hitter will be the club's top two needs.

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While Francisco was unreliable and often not on the field in 2010, a big market for relievers makes him an attractive option worth more than many would have thought in early November.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.