ESPN.com's Jayson Stark put together his overall questions for spring training along with his poll on the various offseason categories. Here are the portions that included the Rangers:
Most intriguing spring stories:
2. FOREVER YOUNG? When last we saw those Texas Rangers, they were still playing baseball in November, Cliff Lee was on the mound and Michael Young was Mr. Ranger. Amazing how much can change in a few months, huh? While the Rangers remain poised to contend, we know they'll be doing it without Lee, who bolted for Philly. But will they be able to find a taker for Young -- their disgruntled shortstop-turned-second baseman-turned-third baseman-turned-super-utility DH -- in the next week? And if not, can they all make peace this spring, find this guy 600 at-bats and get back aboard the World Series Express? Bigggg questions.
Best free-agent signings:
. Cliff Lee, Phillies (5 years, $120 million)
2. Carl Crawford, Red Sox (7 years, $142 million)
3. Adrian Beltre, Rangers (5 years, $80 million)
It's actually kind of amusing that people look at the Lee signing and think the Phillies got some kind of "bargain." Uh, has anyone mentioned lately that this man will collect more dollars per season (an average of $24 million) than any pitcher has ever raked in during any multiyear contract in history? Nevertheless, the Phillies played this so coyly, so quietly, so ingeniously that not even the Yankees and Rangers saw them coming until it was too late. And now this team heads for spring training with one of the greatest, October-ready rotations ever assembled. It's STILL hard to believe this really happened -- and not just for the Yankees.
FUN POLL FACT: Would you believe 27 different free agents got at least one vote -- including (gasp) Vicente Padilla? No kidding.
Three most outrageous contracts (free agent or otherwise)
3. Adrian Beltre is another guy who sure confuses people. He got lots of votes for best signing, AND worst signing, AND most outrageous contract. So what's up with that? Well, on his previous five-year contract (with Seattle), he produced an adjusted OPS-plus above 112 in NONE of those years. And the only two seasons of his career in which he made the top 10 in any significant offensive categories just happened to be the two contract-drive years before he locked up those five-year deals. So there ya go.
Most important injury comebacks:
1. Brandon Webb (Rangers)
3. Kevin Youkilis/Dustin Pedroia/Jacoby Ellsbury/Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox)
Check out the entire package here. BTW, look next week for ESPNDallas.com's key questions heading into spring training.