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?
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.