The Rangers must decide by 10:59 p.m. today if they are offering arbitration to Marlon Byrd and Pudge Rodriguez. It's the final day to offer arbitration and still receive compensation in the form of draft picks. Players have until Dec. 7 to accept the offer. One choice is easy for Texas, the other a little more difficult.
Texas is likely to offer Byrd arbitration. If he accepts the offer, he is under contract on a one-year deal. If he doesn't, the Rangers would receive a draft pick between the first and second rounds of the 2010 draft. The Rangers would have no problems if Byrd takes the offer, but they at least get some compensation if he gets a big multi-year deal from another team that Texas can't match.
But what do you do about Rodriguez? He was a solid backup and veteran presence after coming over to the Rangers in August when Jarrod Saltalamacchia injured his shoulder. The Rangers have depth at catcher and want Taylor Teagarden and Saltalamacchia competing for that job again. But that depends on whether Saltalamacchia's shoulder is healthy. He's testing it out in the Dominican Republic during winter ball. The Rangers must decide if it's worth offering Rodriguez arbitration so they have a backup plan should Saltalamacchia not be ready to go come spring training.