MLB recently announced a new 5 year collective bargaining agreement. The good news is that Major League Baseball will continue uninterrupted by labor issues for at least five more years. The bad news is that a major tool has been taken away from the Rangers in the process.
To be more fair, the tool hasn't been taken away; it's use has just been severely limited. For the past few years, Jon Daniels and crew have stocked the Rangers farm system with international talent. Their operations in The Dominican Republic and Venezuela have been stepped up, and they have produced more talent for the Rangers from those countries than probably any other major league team. That's not to mention the harvesting that was recently done from Cuba. The past year the Rangers payed out $17.6 million in bonuses to intertional free agents.
Going forward, the new CBA will cap that amount at $2.9 million. It's entirely possible that the Rangers knew this restriction was in the works and wanted to do as much as they could before it took effect. Whatever the case, a tactic that JD and his staff have invested significant time, personnel, and money in is no longer as viable as it once was. Fortunately, everyone else will be limited in the same way. The front office has proved to be extrememly resourceful, and I have large amounts of faith in their ability to adapt to the new restrictions.
Heck, they've earned my trust in just about anything they decide to do.