Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Update on Soriano contract situation 

On Sunday, I mentioned that the Rangers should consider releasing Soriano, saying that the Rangers would only have to pay him $1.5 million if they did so.

I did this based on my understanding of arbitration-eligible player contracts, derived from this Baseball Primer piece from a couple of years ago. It says in part:

A player with a non-guaranteed contract or an arbitration award may be released up until the 15th day of spring training with 30 days' pay or from the 16th day of spring training until the opening of the season with 45 days' pay.

My reading of that included arb-eligible players who settled pre-arbitration. However, Jamey Newberg, who knows this stuff better than me, thinks that it applies only to players who go to an arbitration hearing, which would not include Soriano.

He's going to check the rules tonight, and confirm one way or the other, and I will update this whenever I find out for sure...

I don't care how much money the Rangers owe him, I honestly feel that he is taking time away from some of the younger, more long-term solutions to this team. Hicks and Hart have shown reluctance in augmenting the young talent (Blalock et al) from outside the organization. I can't say that I agree with this, but it is not detrimental. It just means contending will take longer. If this is, in fact, the route they want to take, then it is time to play the young guys (like Kinsler) who look to be with the team for much longer than Soriano. The same can be said of Park, who is keeping people like RicRod and Young out of the rotation. Of course, doing so would be a bad PR move, it would be as if the team is raising the white flag before the season starts. I have resigned myself to a poor season, but this time should be spent taking an inventory of what this organization has. Also, does anybody know where I can find park adjusted numbers for Soriano?
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