1. For what it's worth, Randy Galloway writes that Nolan Ryan was heading up the organizational push on Mark Buehrle, and that the Rangers were actually willing to go as far as four years and $50 million on Buehrle before the Marlins nabbed him for an identical-length $58 million deal. Jon Daniels, meanwhile, seems adamant that the Rangers had a legitimate chance at re-signing C.J. Wilson if they had only matched the Angels' offer -- which, if true, means that the Rangers didn't feel Wilson was a worthwile investment for an additional $3 million per year and one extra year over what they were willing to offer Buehrle.
I realize this is more than a little open-ended, but I am a tad curious as far as the public sentiment on this. Does that hefty offer for Buehrle -- who furnishes more reliability, but quite a bit less upside than Wilson -- give you any cause for concern? Does the thought of Nolan influencing the process to such an extent -- and possibly being in direct conflict with key members of the baseball operations department -- send up any warning flags? And is Texas going to come to regret the decision to not even make any kind of legitimate effort to keep Wilson?
2. Let's go ahead and say that the Rangers' core players on the positional side are Mike Napoli, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Hamilton. Let's also say that you have some rough (and relatively fair) expectations in mind as far as how each of them will perform in 2012. At this point in time, in which of these seven players are you the most confident in terms of being able to beat their expectation next year? And, conversely, in which player are you the least confident?
3. Building on Saturday's Ian Kinsler contract extension post, I'm curious about this as well: What is the shortest/least expensive extension that you could personally envision Kinsler signing once his existing deal finally burns out after 2013?
4. Peer into your crystal ball and take a stab at this question: "The Rangers will bid $__ million on Yu Darvish, and" -- pick an option here -- "will (a) not win the bidding, or (b) will win the bidding, and will sign him for a grand total of $__ million."