SBD/Issue 38/Franchises

Armed With New Owners And A TV Deal, Rangers Are Free To Spend

The Rangers Will Look To Make P Cliff Lee A
Competitive Offer In Free Agency This Winter

As the MLB Rangers head into the offseason, a "new TV contract and an ownership group willing to spend money should allow" GM Jon Daniels the "flexibility to fill most of all his needs instead of picking and choosing based on a stingy budget," according to Richard Durrett of ESPN DALLAS. New Owner Chuck Greenberg has "pledged to make the Rangers' payroll more in line with the size of the market." That is "not to say Greenberg will be throwing Daniels a pot of gold and telling him to become the Red Sox or the Yankees," but the GM's budget "will grow this offseason." Daniels already has reached out to Cliff Lee's agent, hoping to re-sign the pitcher, and "negotiations are likely to really heat up at the winter meetings" in Orlando next month. Despite losing to the Giants in the World Series, Rangers officials "couldn't wait to tackle next season." Greenberg said, "This is the beginning of an era. The page was turned, and we are moving confidently and aggressively into a very bright future as an organization and as a community. For all those who said folks would lose interest in the Rangers after the All-Star break or they wouldn't come out during (Cowboys) training camp or the team couldn't win in the postseason, all those old myths are gone. And what's left is a community that loves its ballclub, a ballclub that's young and talented, has a great future ahead of it, and an organization that's committed to winning. It's a very exciting time" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 11/2).

TIMES ARE A-CHANGIN': In N.Y., Sandomir & Belson write the "question is whether a team that had the 26th-lowest opening day payroll, at $55.2 million, truly has the wherewithal to match up against bigger spenders." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said, "They should be able to approach a $100 million payroll in two or three years and still be fine. But if they mistakenly try to be the Yankees, they will go into a major economic slide. They could be a strong next-echelon team." Sandomir & Belson note increased revenues "from various sources might soon lead the Rangers to start paying into baseball’s revenue sharing pool, rather than receive payments, as they have the last two years" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/3).

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