Big news on the signing of Ian Kinsler to a long term contract. The middle of the field is set for the Rangers for a long time. We have control over new Center phenom Josh Hamilton for at least 5 years. With Young and Kinsler locked in for awhile we have a good solid core of players to tighten up the defense in the middle of the field. The Rangers have great options at catcher as well. Write what ever you want about Laird, I think he is a very solid defensive catcher. We know he can hit. He proved it in 2004 before he got injured as well as 2006. I think the pressure of 2007 affected his hitting. He will rebound this year.
The plan has been approved and is now taking shape. Locking up a good solid core of players to BUILD a franchise around is the proper move. I emphasize Build because we will not be able to buy a team. The DFW baseball market cannot support a 150 million plus payroll it would take to BUY a championship team. Besides, if you want a true sustained winning tradition, it has to come from the farm and savvy trading, not throwing money at high priced free agents. Do not get me wrong, signing a big free agent can be a good idea but only after you have the team core for this free agent to compliment.
I applaud the signing of Ian Kinsler. I know that the Rangers are banking on the developement of the young pitchers in the minors. If only a couple of them can make the percieved impact as a #1 or #2 starter, the future will be brighter. Build a team with a solid core and you will start to see free agents seriously looking at the Rangers. You will also see the Rangers drop off of many impact players No-Trade lists.
There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered this spring. Hopefully most of the them can be resolved. This move to lock up Ian for long term is just what the Rangers have talked about and what they have needed to do.