● T.R. Sullivan's latest piece basically reiterates everything that we know up to this point (chiefly, that the Rangers want to bring Hamilton back), and includes some quotes from Jon Daniels about the Rangers being more concerned with finding the right move for the good of the organization than creating flashy headlines:
"Going into the offseason we felt like there were a number of options to improve the team internally and we still feel that way," Daniels said. "Obviously, we were looking at a few specific guys [externally] but at this point, with the exception of Soria, they haven't materialized. The danger is reacting for the sake of a headline and satisfy everybody's desire to make an offseason move. Just like our fans and players, we want to do something but it's got to be right. The offseason winners and losers are not always the same teams who are playing in October."
● Randy Galloway bemoans the Rangers' lack of meaningful activity thus far this winter, saying that the Rangers "look like fools" right now while emphasizing that the reason they've taken on that appearance is because of the media playing up the notion that Texas was "holding baseball hostage" during winter meetings week.
● Jon Daniels says that the Rangers have heard good things about Eli Whiteside's catching/throwing ability and, in particular, his ability to work with a pitching staff, and notes that while Texas isn't necessarily done looking for catching help, the organization is comfortable in his ability to handle the backup catching role. I'm fully prepared to eat my hat if the Rangers roll into the season with a Soto/Whiteside catching tandem; the Rangers value quality receiving skills behind the plate over maxed-out offensive production, and that's a very reasonable position to take on the matter, but the problem is that the offensive floor on that tandem is one of black-hole proportions. I'm cautiously optimistic in Soto rebounding in 2013, but last season's 62 wRC+ campaign should leave you skittish, and Whiteside's a lifetime 65 wRC+ hitter.
It would be one thing if, say, 7-8 of the Rangers' nine total offensive positions were nicely squared away, such that you could feel okay about completly punting the catcher position and preparing to roll into the season with an offensive projection well below the league norm for the catching position. But they're not, and Whiteside is a poor hitter even behind the plate, and Soto's still rather dicey, and I just can't believe that they're going to roll into the season with this as their catching arrangement.
● Michael Young stopped down on ESPN 103.3 FM yesterday to elaborate upon some of his remarks from his closing press conference, which included him downplaying his comments about the front office and stating that the Rangers' push to trade him put a bit of a "fire in his belly."
Young also says that he supported and urged on Josh Hamilton in his battle to quit chewing tobacco during the season, noting that he wanted what was best for Josh as a person and that he couldn't care less whether it affected him on the field. Two months ago, Nolan Ryan criticized Hamilton's timing in attempting to kick his tobacco habit during the season given the seeming adverse effects upon his performance.
● Kevin Sherrington says that if the Rangers fail to re-sign Josh Hamilton, they have to go "all-in" to acquire R.A. Dickey and Michael Bourn. In other news, a single tear just ran down Leonys Martin's cheek and he can't figure out why.