Reading Fort Worth Star-Telegram Texas Rangers' writer Jeff Wilson's work from the MLB Winter Meetings, the following made me sports sick:
"(Elvis) Andrus’ spot might not be as secure, not with a hefty contract that the cash-strapped and shortstop-rich Rangers have considered moving to free up more money for starting pitching."
Texas Rangers ... cash-strapped. The Texas Rangers are cash-strapped. Cash-strapped? Texas Rangers. Cash strapped.
That's right - the Rangers don't, or can't, spend much more because the cash is gone. Or at least that is the latest lie they are dispensing.
The infusion of money from the local TV broadcasting rights with Fox Sports Southwest? Already spent.
The Rangers are not slashing, burning and going Miami Marlins on us, but don't expect some dramatic increase in payroll because they have already spent the money they intended to spend.
The Rangers already have committed $118 million for 2015, and they are not going to increase their budget of $133 million.That $118 million helped crank out a last place finish last season in the American League West. And this is a team that needs starting pitching, an outfielder, and relievers.
With all due respect to team owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson and the fact they have spent big money on the payroll, this team can't start selling the idea that it is somehow cash strapped.
The last time the team sold "cash strapped" began in about 2004, when then owner Tom Hicks began to lose money and tire of the model that never worked. He had built the team, and its payroll, based on the concept that it would win, the crowds would come, and the money would flow.
It never happened, and the empty seats combined with the bloated payroll forced Hicks to change his strategy.
The Rangers have given no indication they are going to go the slash and burn route, but after last season's disaster - 67-95 record - bet big that season tickets are fleeing, and the revenues will decrease unless they start winning.
It's not uncommon for new owners to come in, spend big, and then get frustrated when the results don't come. When Davis/Simpson bought the Rangers, they were in the World Series, they got the bug, spent big, and now it's not so much fun.
The size of the payroll is not the issue for the Rangers, but how the money is spent and precisely how much can be spent to improve a roster that needs help.
Losing, and losing money, eventually made Hicks gun shy. It hasn't happened to Davis/Simpson yet, but the fact they are "cash strapped" is not a great sign.
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