Owner Tom Hicks said he is behind the decision to retain manager Ron Washington and expects that the Rangers will be contenders the next three seasons.
Hicks met with president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels on Thursday before the club headed to Anaheim, Calif., for the season-ending series. Hicks said Ryan's decision-making is allowing him to take a step back from the club while also convincing him to be patient as the Rangers attempt to develop themselves into a winner.
The Rangers likely won't spend money on a free-agent starter, Hicks said, but the bullpen could get free-agent help. If the Rangers add a starter, Hicks said, it will be via a trade with the pool of catching talent as the Rangers' No. 1 bargaining chip.
Hicks said the rotation can improve with better conditioning and help from veterans Vicente Padilla, Kevin Millwood and Brandon McCarthy. Hicks said that Millwood has been told by Ryan that if he doesn't come into spring training in better shape, he won't be in the rotation.
-- Jeff Wilson