Patience.

If you’re frustrated when you see trades reported that don’t involve Texas, and other teams rumored to have floated landmark free agent contract offers, or when you see quotes from Jon Daniels or Nolan Ryan suggesting that the Rangers aren’t going to get involved with the top tier of free agents and that the plan is to let things settle down before jumping squarely into the mix, consider that, at this time last year, Texas was still two and a half weeks away from its first big league move of the off-season.

Freddy Guzman to Detroit for Chris Shelton.

Last winter’s activity:

Dec. 5:  Guzman for Shelton
Dec. 12: Tug Hulett for Ben Broussard
Dec. 21: Edinson Volquez and Danny Ray Herrera for Josh Hamilton
Jan. 3: Milton Bradley signs
Jan. 11: Eddie Guardado signs
Jan. 14: Kaz Fukumori signs
Jan. 25: Jason Jennings signs

Patience is prescribed.  Last year’s Hamilton trade, which Daniels has said survived countless discussions and dozens of versions, took time.  Bradley (an opportunistic strike when it looked like he was on the verge of re-signing with San Diego) and Guardado would have cost more earlier in the winter.  

Given where the Rangers have set their budget, waiting for the market to play out is necessary, not only because demands will come down in many situations but also because the passage of time will create opportunities that may not be there right now.

It’s a great time of year for a serious baseball fan, having an off-season ticket to the always fascinating hot stove game, but for most teams it’s more like an NBA game than anything else.  Plenty can happen at any given time, but the fourth quarter is when the real action stands to take place.

In the meantime, mark your calendars for the evening of Wednesday, December 10, which is when the Newberg Report Book Release Party will be, with guests Jeff Zimmerman and Derek Holland (plus a third surprise guest, which I may or may not reveal in advance).  I’ve got a bead on the location, and should have that nailed down in the next two days.

And do yourself a favor and follow friends Joey Matschulat, Jason Parks, and John Vittas over to this morning’s launch of Baseball Time in Arlington — http://www.bbtia.com — a relocation of their similarly named blog at MVN.  I’ve read their work long enough to know you won’t be disappointed.  Give Jason’s Michael Main interview (now posted) a read, and you’ll have a greater appreciation of the 19-year-old righthander.  Guaranteed.  Main is going to be a big part of things in Arlington.  

Soon enough.

Just draw on some of that patience.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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