Well, T.R.'s latest is up, and among other things, Sullivan writes that "there is a real possibility" that Josh Hamilton won't sign a contract extension before his self-imposed spring training deadline arrives, that "there is a real chance" that Mike Napoli will break the Rangers' streak of amicably settled arbitration cases, that we should look for Napoli to hit the open market next year, and ...
Jurickson Profar looks to be a great prospect at shortstop. Will the Rangers look at moving him to another position since he is blocked by Elvis Andrus? If not, what is his future with the team?
-- Cindy S., Fort Worth
This could be an interesting year for both Andrus and Profar. You don't go to two straight World Series without an excellent shortstop, and Andrus has been just that for the Rangers. But he is getting more expensive by the year, and there is still more improvement needed both offensively and defensively to match his rise in salary. Profar was at low Class A in 2011. It will be interesting to see if the Rangers have him skip high Class A and instead play at Double-A Frisco this season. But the Rangers have no need to make a decision on Profar at this point.
This strikes me as a somewhat odd comment, in that Elvis has already performed at an average three-win clip for his career, and was a huge success in 2011, with his bWAR (3.5) and fWAR (4.5) averaging out into legitimate All-Star territory. (There's a certain bizarreness in that once you recall that Elvis made the 2010 All-Star team in his worst season to date and didn't make the 2011 All-Star team during his best season to date, but that's neither here nor there.)
I absolutely think that there's more room for Elvis to grow production-wise, but I take issue with the idea that he has to get better in order to justify or "match" his ballooning salaries. If he continues to produce on both sides of the ball at a three- to four-win clip through the remainder of his cost-controlled years, he's a lock to outproduce his annual compensation. You'd like him to keep getting better, but in no way does he have to get better.
There's a fine line between having a high level of expectations and just being greedy.