Jones, Hamilton, loose ends
Perhaps it is a strange set of circumstances that Andruw Jones is more of a priority than Josh Hamilton but that’s the way it seems here in the desert.
Jones is still here. He is starting to hit better. The Rangers insist he will not make the team as a starter. All indications are the Rangers were ready to cut him loose, except that he wanted to stay around a little longer and try to impress some other team.
Problem is there is strong sentiment within the rank-and-file to keep Jones. There is an element that thinks this guy could still come back and be at least close to what he was. If so, the Rangers would have to cut ties with Frank Catalanotto and eat his $6 million. Word is that is not an option that owner Tom Hicks will allow.
Hamilton’s contract situation remains unresolved. There is no need to address it. He is signed through this season. He can not be a free agent until after the 2012 season.
But the Rangers have indicated they want to explore a multi-year extension. They just haven’t broached it with Hamilton’s agent yet. They certainly haven’t pursued it as vigorously as they did with Ian Kinsler last spring or Michael Young and Hank Blalock in years past.
They likely will make overtures at some point soon. Not sure where that will go.
There are teams interested in Joaquin Arias. He started at shortstop on Saturday. He can play. The Rangers are happy with Elvis Andrus at shortstop and Arias’ throwing strength is still a concern. Omar Vizquel is the utility guy. Turns out he can play second base in his sleep.
Maybe the Rangers can get a bullpen piece for him. There seems real and palatable concerns about the bullpen. When Jason Jennings name comes up…
Josh Rupe is among the pitchers scheduled to throw on Sunday against the Dodgers. It would seem to be a good time for him to have a strong outing. Throw strikes, more strikes and even more strikes. Be aggressive, all those good things.
Rupe needs to win a job here in the next two weeks. He is out of options.
Still many loose ends to tie up.