<
>

Khalil Greene talk: The Rangers' options

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has left the door open for a possible return to the team for Khalil Greene, but he's also approaching the 2010 as if Greene won't be a part of the team.

Greene's agent called Daniels on Sunday afternoon and told him that Greene wouldn't be reporting. Daniels said Greene was "having a recurrence of some of the issues he's dealt with in the past."

So what are the Rangers' options?

They could put Greene on the restricted list. To do that, they'd have to apply to Major League Baseball to have him on the list. It means that Greene wouldn't get paid, but the contract would still be in place when or if he was taken off the list. He would also not count on the club's 40-man roster.

They could just void the contract. It's something that is on the table, but Daniels said he hasn't had a chance to go over all the options with his staff and that it would be "an amicable" solution.

The Rangers' options for replacing Greene and finding a utility infielder: Go with an internal candidate, sign a free agent (Felipe Lopez is the biggest name on the market), make a trade or grab someone of the waiver wire near the end of spring, when teams are making roster moves to set their clubs.

The internal candidates include Joaquin Arias, Ray Olmedo and Esteban German. Arias would appear to have the best chance because of his experience at shortstop. He played the entire winter ball season at shortstop and says he's 100 percent. Daniels said Arias was in better position to be considered for the job than he was last year or the year before. You could argue he's in better position for consideration now than he was 24 hours ago too.

Manager Ron Washington said shortstop is the top priority for the utility position. He wants second-year infielder Elvis Andrus to play 146-150 games. So he wants a reliable option at that spot. But having the ability to play third and second would be important too. The Rangers would like a right-handed bat at first base, but that may not be filled by this particular spot.

"We have to move on and not let this become a hindrance," Washington said.