For the Texas Rangers, it’s time to move on … but with whom?
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I was almost sure when Zack Greinke signed on the dotted line, the logo in the corner of the contract would be that of the Texas Rangers.
So, as I sat at a family dinner Saturday night and watched Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel accept the Heisman Trophy award, I didn’t expect to arrive home later that night and find out the top free agent wasn’t signing with Texas. Instead, Greinke decided he wanted the money offered by the Los Angeles Dodgers instead of the more likely long-term success offered by the Rangers.
With the top free agent off the market, Rangers fans are wondering “what’s next?” and throwing out any number of names connected with Texas since the offseason began.
The name topping that list was 31-year-old Tampa Bay right-hander, James Shields … until news broke late Sunday night the Rays had traded Shields, along with Wade Davis, not to the Texas Rangers but to the Kansas City Royals in return for outfielder Wil Myers, pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, and infielder Patrick Leonard.
With Shields off the board, especially with Greinke now in the mix with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the options are few and far between. But, for the sake of argument, we’ll talk about those options anyway.
Jim Bowden of ESPN mentioned the possibility of L.A. making Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang or Ted Lilly available, two of who have American League experience (Harang, Lilly). We saw how not having that experience affected Ryan Dempster when Texas acquired him prior to July’s trade deadline.
Would any of those names interest the fan base here in Texas? I’ve watched Harang with the Cincinnati Reds, and pitching in a ballpark where the ball flies isn’t exactly the best place for him.
If this were five or more years ago I might have had interest in Lilly but now, at just short of 37 years of age, that interest just isn’t there.
Speaking of pitchers older than 35, the New York Mets seem open to trading R.A. Dickey, and since he came out of the Rangers’ system, it makes sense he would want to return to Texas. Do you believe the NL Cy Young Award winner can have the same success in Texas that he had in New York? Engaging in trade talks with the Mets comes with the same set of problems that the Rangers would have with the Rays and Shields.
We talk a lot about pitching needs, especially the lack of depth in the bullpen with Koji Uehara signing with the Boston Red Sox and Mike Adams all but gone — though they hope to have replaced him with Joakim Soria, a guy who’s already gone through two Tommy John surgeries.
Arguably the biggest, most glaring hole, is the lack of a solid catcher going into 2013. Mike Napoli signed a three-year deal with the Boston Red Sox and although Geovany Soto is back for one year, he’s not exactly a guy who gives fans a warm fuzzy. Although, Yu Darvish had a big turn around when Soto was acquired from the Cubs, but I’ll stop just short of giving him all of the credit.
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