Did Rangers want some catching insurance?
Maybe so. The club had a tough call on whether to offer arbirtration to Ivan Rodriguez on Tuesday (offering Marlon Byrd was an easy decision). They did, and Pudge has until Monday at 11 p.m. CT to accept or decline it. By offering, the Rangers may have signaled that they wanted some insurance for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who is in the Dominican Republic for winter ball as he returns from shoulder surgery.
It's tough to know, though, how Saltalamacchia may come back from that surgery. Rodriguez is a veteran presence in the clubhouse and a guy who can help teach the younger players. If Rodriguez takes the offer, he could serve as a backup. That leaves Taylor Teagarden and Saltalamacchia to compete for the starting job. Of course, there's a lot of time between now and spring training and trades are always a possibility. A quick aside: Teagarden told me late in the season how nice it was to have Rodriguez there. He watched his at-bats carefully and said he learned a bunch from him.
By the way, if Rodriguez and Byrd decline the offers, it doesn't mean the Rangers can't sign them. But it means if they sign elsewhere, Texas would get a supplemental first-round draft pick for each -- both are Type B free agents.
Do you want to see Rodriguez return to the Rangers? What would you do with Teagarden and Saltalamacchia? Which one do you think will earn the starting job?