Texas Rangers: Khalil Greene

Season In Review: Winter meetings, Jan.

September, 30, 2010
9/30/10
10:30
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the next five weekdays leading into Wednesday's Game 1, we're going to feature a timeline of the Rangers' season on and off the field. Consider it a way to recap what happened in 2010. Feel free to comment on some of the items and to let us know if we missed some. This first installment begins with the Winter Meetings last December and goes through January (two months for each installment will follow):

Dec. 8: Rangers president Nolan Ryan makes public his partnership with Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg. They are part of a group of investors hoping to buy the club. Greenberg attends part of the Winter Meetings as does Dennis Gilbert, another prospective buyer. Houston businessman Jim Crane is also a bidder.

Dec. 9: General manager Jon Daniels completes trade with the Orioles, sending Kevin Millwood and $3 million to Baltimore for reliever Chris Ray and a pick in the Rule 5 draft. The move frees up about $9 million in the budget.

Dec. 11: Rangers make official the signing of Rich Harden to a $6.5 million deal.

Dec. 15: Owner Tom Hicks chooses the group headed by Greenberg and Ryan as the one he will enter into exclusive negotiations with to buy the club. The decision comes after a flurry of activity, including resubmitted bids by Crane and the Greenberg-Ryan group. The hope then was to get a deal done by Opening Day.

Dec. 19: The proposed deal to send Boston’s Mike Lowell to Texas falls apart after Lowell fails a physical and needs surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament

Dec. 22: Texas agrees to terms with reliever Darren Oliver on a one-year contract with a vesting option for the second year.

Jan. 11: Rangers sign Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year deal with a mutual option to be their designed hitter.

Jan. 19: Colby Lewis, the former first-round pick of the Rangers, signs a two-year deal after spending two previous seasons in Japan.

Jan. 21: Club makes signing of utility infielder Khalil Greene official.

Jan. 23: Hicks Sports Group and Rangers Baseball Express, the name of the group headed by Greenberg and Ryan, strike a deal to complete the sale of the Rangers, pending approval from MLB and HSG’s creditors.

Jan. 31: Rangers expect pitchers Omar Beltre and Alexi Ogando, who were held up from entering the United States on visa issues stemming from their part in a human trafficking scandal, to be allowed to arrive in time for spring training.

Positional outlook: Utility infielder

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
8:00
AM CT
Things have certainly changed the last few weeks on the utility front. This was supposed to be all about Khalil Greene, who was signed in the offseason to handle the infield positions.

[+] EnlargeKevin Reece/Icon SMI
Kevin Reece/Icon SMIJoaquin Arias came to the Rangers organization in the trade that sent Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees.
Greene's decision not to report to camp (the club ended up voiding his $750,000 contract) means that the utility position is up for grabs. The intention at this point is for an internal candidate to win that job, though the Rangers will continue to look around (possibly Julio Lugo?) and check the waiver wire as spring training comes to a close.

But this is a big opportunity for Joaquin Arias.

Arias is out of options. At one time, he was one of the club's top prospects. But arm and shoulder issues slowed him and surgery means he'll likely never fully regain the arm strength he had a few years ago. Arias, though, comes into spring training on a mission.

"I don't want to play in Oklahoma again," said Arias the day he reported, referring to Triple-A Oklahoma City. "I want to play in the big leagues. It's my time."

Arias, 25, was acquired from the Yankees in the Alex Rodriguez-Alfonso Soriano trade in 2004. He made his major league debut in September of 2006 and was on pace to keep improving. But he spent all of 2007 on the disabled list and had surgery on his right shoulder. He says he feels healthy and even better than he did last spring training. He must prove he can make the throws necessary. The Rangers will see if he can seize the opportunity.

"He’s in a better position now to be considered for this job than he’s been the last two years," general manager Jon Daniels said. "That’s what spring training is for. Joaquin’s going to be given a chance to compete for the job, but he’s going to have to go out and win it."

Both Daniels and manager Ron Washington said the most important component of a utility infielder is the ability to play shortstop. That's Arias' natural position and one that he played in winter ball leading up to spring training. He also played some at second base in 2008. Arias is not a first baseman, but Max Ramirez could be a candidate to back up at first base (as well as play catcher if needed) as the 25th man on the roster. Or the Rangers could go out and get a right-handed hitting first baseman as a backup.

But Arias would give them a backup that can play in the middle of the field. That position is an important one. Omar Vizquel did a solid job in that role in 2009. He was there to help mentor Elvis Andrus, but when injuries occurred -- to Ian Kinsler and Michael Young -- Vizquel was able to step in and produce.

Arias must show he can limit mistakes and earn the trust of his teammates and the manager. Arias had a solid stay in the Dominican Winter League, hitting .296 with 11 RBIs, 14 runs and six stolen bases in 27 games. He had 504 at-bats for Triple-A Oklahoma City last season, batting .266 with five homers, 52 RBIs and 24 stolen bases (in 27 attempts). Arias would give Washington another pinch-running option late in games as well.

Arias isn't the only player who will get a look. Ray Olmedo and Esteban German are both in camp, though not on the 40-man roster. Washington said he didn't know much about Olmedo before camp, but he's working with him and discovering more about all of his reserve infielders as the spring progresses.

Do you think Arias is right for the job? Should the Rangers look outside the organization?

Does this close the door on Greene?

February, 25, 2010
2/25/10
1:41
PM CT
I got a few emails asking that question. No, not completely. It may seem that the Rangers' decision to void the contract of Khalil Greene means he will never end up with Texas. And that's certainly possible.

But general manager Jon Daniels left the door open for Greene, saying the club will stay in touch and address the situation if and when Greene says he's ready to play baseball again.

Voiding the contract means the Rangers save the $750,000 they were going to pay Greene and open up a spot on the 40-man roster, which could prove helpful when they have to make some decisions later in spring training. Even if they stay internal for a replacement for Greene (at this point that seems likely), it won't be someone who has the experience at the infield positions like Greene does. In fact, he was going to work some at first base so that he could play any of the infield positions if necessary.

The bottom line: He's not a part of the club right now, period. The organization felt voiding the contract was a smarter alternative than putting him on the restricted list.

Surprise Stuff: Morning clubhouse notes

February, 24, 2010
2/24/10
10:11
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A few quick notes to get things going on this Wednesday.

* DH Vladimir Guerrero was in the clubhouse talking with several players. He is expected to chat with the media briefly following the workouts today. We'll keep you posted.

* LHP Derek Holland (sprained right knee) is scheduled to long toss today as he continues to ease back into baseball activities. He could be throwing off a mound soon as long as he doesn't have any setbacks. He does have a small brace on his knee for added protection.

* C Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw to bases for the first time on Tuesday and said he felt good. He said he hasn't been limited at all and is doing everything everyone else is doing, like catching bullpen sessions and live batting practice. "It should only get better the more I do it, but I'm pleased," Saltalamacchia said.

* Marcus Lemon is in major league camp to give the Rangers an additional reserve infielder now that Khalil Greene isn't reporting to camp.

* Today is the first full squad workouts and it's going to be a longer day. Manager Ron Washington is addressing the team in a meeting and then they will head to the field. They may be out there until after 1 p.m. Arizona time to take advantage of the good weather. The veterans that didn't complete their physicals yet are doing so today.

Surprise Six: Monday spring training recap

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
6:06
PM CT
video
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Let's take a look at six issues from Monday at spring training (kind of a one-stop shopping center of what went on today).

1. Khalil Greene's locker was cleaned out before players arrived early Monday morning. The utility infielder and his decision not to report to spring training was the big story of the day. Greene, who told his agent on Sunday that he wasn't going to report, has dealt with social anxiety issues in the past. The move means the Rangers have some options on what to do with Greene and what to do to fill his spot on the roster.

2. Greene's situation means the Rangers will look mainly internally to fill that spot. They'll keep an eye on other clubs, but the liklihood is it's internal. That gives Joaquin Arias a great shot. And he's a natural shortstop, something that is important to the Rangers for that utility spot. He's out of options and knows he has to show something now.

3. LHP Derek Holland was scheduled to have an MRI on Monday afternoon. Dr. Keith Meister is expected to arrive in Arizona on Tuesday to read the results and the club will then decide how to proceed. For the second straight day, Holland was walking around the clubhouse without a brace on his right knee and without a limp. He doesn't seem too worried about it.

4. SS Elvis Andrus arrived and is ready to prepare for the 2010 season. He's actually been preparing for a while now, including winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Andrus sure seems to have a mature head on his shoulders. He discussed how to improve upon his solid rookie season.

5. CF Julio Borbon also arrived in camp on Monday, meaning the Rangers' two speedy lineup bookends were at spring training early. Rain prevented Borbon and Andrus from getting in some good work in the field, but both hit in the cages. BTW, I shot some video of both of them taking swings and you can see that by following me on twitter @ espn_durrett.

6. OF Endy Chavez said he hopes to be ready to play in May. Chavez had his right knee wrapped in ice, but said he can play catch and run in straight lines. He isn't doing any side-to-side movement on it. Chavez seemed in good spirits and talked about how the injury occurred, as he and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt ran into each other last June.

"It was a tough pop-up and nobody called it because it was between us," Chavez said. "I didn't think he was going to get that far into left field. I was about to catch it and I saw him in front of me and said, 'Uh, oh.' I couldn't get out of the way. I got ready for a collision. I thought he was going to hit me in the shoulder but he flipped me."

Joaquin Arias ready for his chance

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
11:50
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Joaquin Arias' chances to make the Rangers' squad improved in the last 24 hours.

He didn't know it when he spoke with reporters Monday morning, but Khalil Greene's decision not to report to camp moves Arias "up the pecking order," as manager Ron Washington said.

The club will look at internal and external options as part of trying to fill Greene's spot. But Arias finds himself high on that internal list. Now he just has to go out and show that his arm and shoulder are good and that he can handle the shortstop position.

"I don't want to play in Oklahoma again," said Arias, referring to Triple-A Oklahoma City. "I want to play in the big leagues. It's my time."

Arias, who is out of options, said he's pleased with how he performed in winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Daniels called Arias "a catalyst" for his team, noting that he played every day at shortstop and hit in the 2-hole. Arias hit .296 with 11 RBIs and six stolen bases in 27 games (98 at-bats). He hit .266 with five homers and 52 RBIs for Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2009. He also stole 24 bases and had 14 doubles (in 504 at-bats).

Daniels said Arias' arm "has improved from where it had been the past couple of years." But Daniels added that Arias had a "7 arm on a 2-8 grade" and isn't sure it's at that point.

"He’s in a better position now to be considreed for this job than he’s been the last two years," Daniels said. "That’s what spring training is for. Joaquin’s going to be given a chance to compete for the job, but he’s going to have to go out and win it. We’ll also be looking at options externally."

Washington said the ability to play shortstop is most important in the utility candidate. He wants Elvis Andrus to play 146 to 150 games this season.

Khalil Greene talk: The Rangers' options

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
11:04
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has left the door open for a possible return to the team for Khalil Greene, but he's also approaching the 2010 as if Greene won't be a part of the team.

Greene's agent called Daniels on Sunday afternoon and told him that Greene wouldn't be reporting. Daniels said Greene was "having a recurrence of some of the issues he's dealt with in the past."

So what are the Rangers' options?

They could put Greene on the restricted list. To do that, they'd have to apply to Major League Baseball to have him on the list. It means that Greene wouldn't get paid, but the contract would still be in place when or if he was taken off the list. He would also not count on the club's 40-man roster.

They could just void the contract. It's something that is on the table, but Daniels said he hasn't had a chance to go over all the options with his staff and that it would be "an amicable" solution.

The Rangers' options for replacing Greene and finding a utility infielder: Go with an internal candidate, sign a free agent (Felipe Lopez is the biggest name on the market), make a trade or grab someone of the waiver wire near the end of spring, when teams are making roster moves to set their clubs.

The internal candidates include Joaquin Arias, Ray Olmedo and Esteban German. Arias would appear to have the best chance because of his experience at shortstop. He played the entire winter ball season at shortstop and says he's 100 percent. Daniels said Arias was in better position to be considered for the job than he was last year or the year before. You could argue he's in better position for consideration now than he was 24 hours ago too.

Manager Ron Washington said shortstop is the top priority for the utility position. He wants second-year infielder Elvis Andrus to play 146-150 games. So he wants a reliable option at that spot. But having the ability to play third and second would be important too. The Rangers would like a right-handed bat at first base, but that may not be filled by this particular spot.

"We have to move on and not let this become a hindrance," Washington said.

Rangers' statement on Greene not reporting

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
9:00
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers this morning announced that infielder Khahil Greene will not be joining the team and will not report to spring training camp.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels issued the following statement this morning:

"The Rangers fully support Khalil’s decision to address this private matter. Per club policy, we will not comment on his medical situation. We have agreed to leave the door open for a continued relationship, if both Khalil and the team desire that in the future.

“We have not put a timetable on a possible return to the club with the sole focus right now on doing what we can to assist him. The Rangers will continue to work with Khalil and his representatives to monitor his situation and interest in rejoining our organization.

“Over the next few days, we expect that Khalil’s status will be more clearly defined. We will also communicate the impact on the 40-man roster once we've walked through our administrative options.”

Greene, 30, was signed by Texas as a free agent on January 21. He spent the 2009 season with St. Louis while missing 46 games in two stints on the disabled list (May 29-June 18; July 29-August 1) due to social anxiety. He has played in the majors with San Diego (2003-08) and St. Louis (2009).

The Rangers first full squad workout takes place on Wednesday.

We'll have more later.

Rangers to discuss Greene situation

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
8:32
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are expected to discuss Khalil Greene this morning and a FoxSports.com report that he will not report to camp on time because of anxiety issues.

The report, according to sources, says Greene won't report as scheduled on Tuesday. Greene, 30, signed a one-year, $750,000 contract in January.

That would certainly alter general manager Jon Daniels' plans for the utility spot. The club had talked about having Greene be able to backup all four infield spots, even spending some time at first base, a position he hasn't played.

Greene addressed his anxiety issues with reporters shortly after the signing was announced. He talked about how he was excited about the upcoming season and enjoying baseball again. Greene was on the disabled list twice last season with the Cardinals because of anxiety issues.

"I feel like at that point, it was something that was lingering as far as having unresolved personal things," Greene said in a conference call in January. "I won't get into specifics, but I don't think it's any different than a lot of people as far as stresses and pressure of everyday life on the field and off the field. I was carrying that on the field where the game itself becomes an obstacle. It wasn't the primary obstacle, but it was difficult."

The Rangers don't have a long list of internal candidates who can play all the infield spots. So they might have to look outside via free agency or trade. They'd like a right-handed bat who could play first.

Felipe Lopez, 29, is still on the market as a possibility. He hit .310 with nine homers and 57 RBIs with Arizona and Milwaukee in 2009. He also changed agents, according to an ESPN.com report, leaving Scott Boras. The Rangers also kicked the tires on Augie Ojeda, who played for Arizona last year and agreed on a one-year deal with the club again this offseason. More on the possibilities later. And we'll update you when the Rangers discuss the matter.

Rangers add RHP Lewis to 40-man roster

January, 25, 2010
1/25/10
2:11
PM CT
The Rangers officially added RHP Colby Lewis to the 40-man roster on Monday, designating infielder Joe Inglett for assignment. The Rangers picked Inglett up off waivers from Toronto in early December. But with the addition of Khalil Greene, the club feels they have their utility infielder. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Inglett to the minor leagues.

The move keeps the Rangers at a full 40-man roster. Texas agreed to terms with the 30-year-old Lewis last week. Lewis was 26-17 with a 2.82 ERA with 369 strikeouts and 46 walks in 55 games (54 starts) during the 2008 and 2009 seasons with the Hiroshima Carp in Japan. He was taken by the Rangers in the first round of the 1999 June draft and has played with Texas, Detroit and Oakland.

Greene enjoying game again

January, 21, 2010
1/21/10
12:43
PM CT
Khalil Greene, who is the Rangers' utility infielder for 2010, talked to reporters Thursday about coming to Texas and rebounding from a tough year on the field and off it.

Greene, 30, played in just 77 games in 2009 with the St. Louis Cardinals and hit .200 with six homers and 24 RBIs. He had two disabled list stints because of social anxiety disorder.

Indications of problems actually surfaced in 2008 when he was with the Padres. Then, Greene missed an extended period of time with a broken hand suffered when he punched a storage chest near the dugout.

[+] EnlargeKhalil Greene
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesKhalil Greene
Greene didn’t want to get into specifics, but said that he had some "unresolved personal things" last year.

"I don’t think it’s any different than a lot of people as far as stresses and pressure of everyday life on the field and off the field," Greene said. "I was carrying that on the field where the game itself becomes an obstacle. It wasn’t the primary obstacle, but it was difficult."

Greene said he "didn’t feel as good about playing" and that his frustration level was "higher than it should have been."

Greene said things got better when he came off the DL the second time.

"I felt reborn as a player," Greene said. "I felt like I was able to enjoy what I was doing. Even though I wasn’t playing consistently, I was glad to be there."

Greene said he's enjoyed offseason workouts and is excited about the 2010 season. He said he's willing to play wherever the Rangers need him. He's played third base and shortstop in his major league career, but manager Ron Washington said Greene will take ground balls and first and second as well.

"I'm very pleased we got a guy of his ability," Washington said. "He has tremendous hands and great instincts. I love his attitude, and we'll get him up to speed in every position."

Daniels said on many teams that Greene has the ability to start.

"We feel like there's still a lot left there," Daniels said. "He has right-handed power. He can defend and move around. He takes his craft seriously. Everyone says he’s very committed to what he does and that he wants to win."

The Rangers designated outfielder Greg Golson for assignment to make room for Greene on the 40-man roster. They still must make a move for Colby Lewis, once that paperwork has cleared through the MLB office.

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WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.90 167 133
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .323
HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 58
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OPSA. Beltre .883
ERAY. Darvish 2.90
SOY. Darvish 167