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January 24, 2010


Hicks Sports Group LLC sold the TEXAS RANGERS BASEBALL CLUB to Rangers Baseball Express LLC for $570 million and a player to be named later.

I'll go ahead and let the bitterness flow forth so I can move on. No need to write anything new. To quote myself...

On my site, February 2004, regarding the trade of Alex Rodriguez, which doesn't mention the owner specifically but applies nonetheless:

An absolute disaster, and as stark of admission of organization-wide failure as can be imagined. Placing Rodriguez on waivers might have made more sense. Had Texas merely swapped Rodriguez for Soriano straight up, they could have excused the deal as a pure salary dump. But remarkably, Texas will contribute $67 million to the $179 million due to Rodriguez. Texas will pay Rodriguez $3 million this season, $6 million in 2005 and 2006, $7 million in 2007, $8 million in 2008, $7 million in 2009, and $6 million in 2010. Also, Texas will pay the entirety of Rodriguez's remaining deferred salary of $24 million, the payments of which were pushed out five more years and at an annual rate of 1.75% compared to the 3% in the original deal.. Adding in the remaining $4 million of his signing bonus and the $12 million in deferred salary accrued from 2001-2003, the Rangers will pay Rodriguez $83 million spread over the next 22 years.
For all this, Texas gains the ever popular "financial flexibility," a term of art that means little without the wherewithal to use it properly. In 2004, this newfound flexibility is a moot point, as the time to sign worthwhile free agents has long since passed (unless Greg Maddux loses his marbles and decides that several summers in Arlington would be a fine way to close a career). This season, practically all of the savings not spent on Soriano will rest contentedly in Tom Hicks's wallet.

Rodriguez did Hicks quite the favor by opting out of the final three years of his contract. Still, the new owners will pay $3 million to Rodriguez in 2010 -- the last of his deferred signing bonus -- which I believe finally closes that sordid book.

What I wrote in the Hardball Times annual, 2008:

Amidst these and previous management shakeups is team owner Tom Hicks. Though not impetuous in the manner of vintage-period George Steinbrenner, Hicks seems to institute a new five-year plan every other year or so. Some examples: 1) fired GM Doug Melvin two years after Texas won its third division title in four seasons, by far its most successful era; 2) signed Alex Rodriguez to a ten-year deal, then traded him three years later; 3) gave former GM John Hart license to spend freely after 2001, then instituted an aggregate payroll cut of over $30 million that lasts to this day; 4) fired assistant GM Grady Fuson two years and nine months into a three-year “internship� for the GM spot; 5) gave manager Buck Showalter a three-year extension following 2004, then fired him before it kicked in; and 6) hired a 30-year-old Ivy Leaguer as GM, then hired the older, old-school Nolan Ryan as his boss two years later.

Fuson's drafts turned out to be barely qualified disasters. 2002 produced virtually nothing beyond Kameron Loe. Unless Eric Hurley recovers, 2004's top pick will be Brandon Boggs. Also, Ryan and Daniels have co-existed better than I expected.


Team Record, AL West, 2000-2009:
LAA 900-720
OAK 890-728
SEA 837-783
TEX 776-884

Posted by Lucas at January 24, 2010 12:29 AM