The Texas Rangers have no more arbitration players awaiting hearings. On Sunday, the Rangers signed catcher Mike Napoli to a new one-year, $9.4 million contract. The new deal allows both sides to avoid the arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Texas has now reached its spending limit.
“As far as any flexibility we have, we don’t right now,” Daniels said. “I never want to shut the door and there’s always ways to be creative and things of that nature. We can sign non-roster guys. But handicapping anything else as we sit here, there’s nothing imminent.”
Daniels went on to say the Rangers still have interest in free agent pitchers Roy Oswalt and Mike Gonzalez, but that signing them “isn’t as easy anymore”.
The new deal for Napoli means the Rangers will keep their new star for at least one more season, but Texas is still focused on signing Napoli to a long-term contract. However, Daniels’ remarks about the team reaching its spending limit for this offseason mean outfielder Josh Hamilton’s negotiations for a new, long-term contract may have not only been delayed, but ended entirely.
Of course, that’s only speculation regarding Daniels’ comments and the Rangers’ success in singing arbitration players Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus and now Napoli to new deals while avoiding arbitration hearings. Still, Hamilton’s recent alcohol relapse and sex tape allegations may have changed the Rangers’ long-term plan entirely.
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