Comparing the Rangers' payroll of $120,939,500* (per ESPN) to the rest of the league, the Dodgers had the highest with $220 million, and the New York Yankees were second with $202 million. The Los Angeles Angels were seventh with $127 million.
Take a look at the Rangers' spending over the last five years in the table below.
*Nelson Cruz is missing from ESPN's payroll; he been activated as of September 29.
The Rangers have seven notable players who will face free agency this offseason: Nelson Cruz, Matt Garza, Lance Berkman (club option), Joe Nathan (club option), A.J. Pierzynski, David Murphy and Jeff Baker.
The total salary of these free agents equals approximately $51 million.
Berkman is making $10 million per year. He did not contribute to the club as much as his salary is worth; do not expect the Rangers to re-sign him. The Rangers rejected Nelson Cruz's contract offer last offseason, per SB Nation. If Cruz's offer had been accepted, he would have gotten $14 million per year.
The Rangers are not in dire need to make a dent in the bank account this offseason. Expect the Rangers to pick up the contract option on Nathan and re-sign Pierzynski. David Murphy and Nelson Cruz should not be expected to come back for more than their previous contracts.
Jeff Baker could look elsewhere in free agency. Expect Garza to receive better offers; however, the Rangers could bring him back at a little over his current contract.
Garza and Berkman's contracts are worth a total of $20.3 million.
Garza, Berkman, Murphy and Baker's contracts are worth a total of $27.7 million.
The top-named free agents that the Rangers could be expected to go after are Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors believes McCann would sign for five years at around $80 million ($16 million per year). B/R's Chris Stephens believes Ellsbury will get a $100 million contract. If this contract is over five years, it would be $20 million per.
Based on the Rangers' recent offseason spending, expect general manager Jon Daniels to make the moves that put the team in the best position to win next year and in the future. With the Rangers' current payroll, McCann could be the big offseason addition, while adding Ellsbury might be a reach.
Bottom line: The Rangers are financially safe and will re-sign/sign top free agents to try to compete for the 2014 MLB World Series.
Payroll projection: $135 million.