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Monday, February 22, 2010
With Greene out, Rangers have open spot


Did the Rangers really think this was going to work?
Utility infielder Khalil Greene will not be joining the Texas Rangers or reporting to spring training, the team announced Monday.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Monday that Greene's agent reached out to him Sunday and told him that the infielder was "having a recurrence of issues he's dealt with in the past."

Greene dealt with social anxiety issues last season, spending two separate stints on the disabled list and missing 46 games with the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Greene, 30, was signed by the Rangers in January for a one-year, $750,000 contract. He was expected to play all four infield positions, if needed. Shortly after signing, he addressed his anxiety issues in a conference call with reporters.

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The Rangers will now have to figure out what to do about a utility spot. They could look at free agents, with Felipe Lopez still available. The 29-year-old hit .310 with nine homers and 57 RBIs with Arizona and Milwaukee in 2009. The club also had an interest in Augie Ojeda this offseason. He signed a one-year deal with Arizona.

I wish Greene the best, but I wouldn't have signed him even if he'd agreed to play for nothing.

By all accounts, the Rangers spent the winter thinking Greene was their No. 1 utility infielder.

What was the upside here? Greene's OBP over the last three seasons was .278, and he's never in his career played even a single inning at second base. Or first base. So he doesn't seem particularly well-suited to that role in the first place.

Throw in the anxiety issues and ... Well, again, I wish Greene the best and I admire the Rangers for giving him a shot. If it's my team, though, I let some other team see if Greene can do all those things he hasn't done in some time (if ever). My point isn't that the Rangers will win fewer games because Greene can't answer the bell. My point is that dozens of organizational man-hours have been devoted to Khalil Greene this winter, man-hours that could more productively have been spent elsewhere.