1. The winner of the Yu Darvish negotiating rights sweepstakes is set to be revealed within 48 hours, and, as of Monday morning, we're up to our necks in speculation and fourth-hand accounts -- to this point, the only solid things we seem to know are that the winning bid is north of $51 million and that the baseball industry believes this is a two-horse race between Toronto and Texas, with New York and Chicago being shot down and Boston apparently lingering out there on the periphery at best.
Knowing everything that you know up to this point, who's your final pick to land Darvish, and for how much?
2. Of the Rangers' five most valuable/tradable minor league commodities (a group that I believe comprises Leonys Martin, Mike Olt, Martin Perez, Jurickson Profar, and Neil Ramirez), which one prospect would it pain you the most to lose via trade? And, conversely, which prospect would it pain you the least to see moved in a significant trade?
3. A high-ranking baseball executive remarked to ESPN.com's Buster Olney over the weekend that in the event that Texas fell short on Darvish, the "smart money" would be on the Rangers to go ahead and swing a deal for Athletics left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who has four years of remaining club control and is only 26 years old, but has also proven quite walk-prone up to this point in his career and, despite the superficially pleasing low-3.00s ERA, has yet to establish that he's more than a nice, above-average (but certainly not elite, or even great) starting pitcher. And, of course, Billy Beane's reported asking price for Gonzalez is through the roof thus far.
This is a tad open-ended, but ... where do you stand on this entire Gonzalez-to-Texas notion? Are you higher on Gonzalez than the rest of the masses? Is this a disaster of a trade waiting to happen? Is it true that Gonzalez believes wolverines would make good house pets?
4. Peer into your crystal ball and throw me your criminally unscientific 2012 win-loss predictions for each AL West team based on the current composition of their rosters. Yes, I realize that the hot stove season is still in full gear and that the Rangers aren't done adding players, but assume that each team is now done for the winter. There is a point to this.