Don't count the Texas Rangers out of the Roy Halladay sweepstakes just yet.
According to a report in D Magazine, the Rangers, who recently defaulted on an interest payment for a $525 million loan, do have the ability to add payroll to acquire a player like Roy Halladay.
The concept of this sounds almost idiotic, but it is in fact true.
Recently, Rangers owner Tom Hicks was asked about the idea of his team adding talent given their current financial situation. Have a look at what he said.
"Any time you've got your minor league system well-stocked, you've got the opportunity to do some deals, if that is what you choose to do."
"Obviously, GM Jon Daniels is working hard on the possibilities. But we are going to be judicious about the young players we know about. We've worked too hard to put ourselves in this position to jeopardize it."
I'm sure the bank must love that response. The Rangers have worked "too hard" to put themselves in the position they are in. Gee, I wonder what would have happened if they worked harder, maybe they would default on player contracts.
All jokes aside, if the Rangers can financially afford to add Halladay, then they must be considered a contender. They probably will need some breaks along the way, but nevertheless they have a chance.
First things first with Halladay, he has to be willing to waive his no-trade clause to play for your team. Not sure he would do that to Texas, but let's say for arguments sake he does. Next the Rangers would have to figure out how to clear money in the short term to afford Halladay. They have the option of either trying to move some existing contracts on their team (i.e. Hank Blaylock) or they could try to get some players to defer money, say Michael Young or Kevin Millwood (Note: It's doubtful they would do it). Finally they would have to put together a package of prospects that appeals to the Blue Jays. For the record this is the least of the Rangers problems, they have arguably the best farm system in baseball today. If the Rangers could figure out how to do all that, and were willing to disarm their farm system, then consider them a player.
Recently ESPN.com Buster Olney gave the Rangers 20:1 odd's at landing Halladay. However, if the Rangers are willing to part with any of their young prospects, Neftali Feliz, Justin Smoak, Derek Holland, Elvis Andrus and whoever else, they might become the favorite. Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi recently said he would have to be "blown away" with an offer, consider these guys "blown away" material.
In the end who knows where Halladay will go, if he goes anywhere at all. But I think at first we all discounted the Rangers simply because of their financial situation, but now it appears we may need to reconsider.
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