The great T.R. Sullivan brings us this week's quote, which was spoken by general manager Jon Daniels following the abrupt end to any and all Ben Sheets signing rumors this past week. As you know, the Rangers reached an agreement with Sheets on a two-year deal last week, pending a physical. However, the results of said physical were not exactly stellar.
It was determined that Sheets had a torn right flexor tendon, and he will undergo surgery, according to a report at SI.com. That development pretty much shot down in flames any sort of agreement the Rangers had with Sheets, and that brings us to where we are today.
When asked about the possibility of looking elsewhere for help now that Sheets will apparently go under the knife, Daniels had this to say:
"Even if some of the other guys were still out there, we weren't going to spend the money. This was the one guy that Tom was willing to spend on and rightfully so."
I applaud this stance. The Rangers had their sights set on one man, and when that fell through, that was the end of that. This is the gumption that a team who has announced that it is setting its sights on 2010 should stick to.
So what do you do for this year? Obviously, barring injury troubles of their own (and with two catastrophic injuries to two key pitchers already this off-season, you definitely cannot rule out more where that came from), Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla have the first two spots locked down, with young Matt Harrison having the inside track on the third spot in the rotation.
After that, it's up in the air.
Scott Feldman, Brandon McCarthy and Dustin Nippert highlight the next trio of possible candidates to fill out the final two spots in the rotation, with McCarthy possessing the most upside (if he can stay healthy). Feldman and Nippert are also both interesting cases, but when you can't consistently throw strikes, you've got Hindenburg-sized troubles headed your way. Kason Gabbard and Luis Mendoza remain options as well, but Mendoza has some serious impressing that needs to be done to make people forget about last season, and Gabbard's being talked about as a bullpen option instead.
Aside from that gaggle of arms, there are also the likes of Thomas Diamond, Tommy Hunter, Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland lying in wait, with the latter two more likely to make an appearance late in the season rather than right out of spring training.
And lest we forget about Jason Jennings, who was inked to a minor league deal on Friday. He'll get his fair chance to wow somebody, just like every other pitcher in camp, but after a winless maiden voyage with the Rangers and an earned run average of over eight and a half, how fired up does that get you?