With Cliff Lee leaving Texas finally setting in, it’s time for Rangers fans and Rangers management to move on. There are still many questions left without answers. The addition of a pitcher and DH hole seem to be on the front burner for GM Daniels and crew. There are plenty of options out there for DH, but not all seem to be a good fit for Texas. Lets’ take a look at a few names that could potentially be suitors for the club and see how they might stick.
1.Vladimir Guerrero - A name that is well known in the Arlington area. He put together an impressive “surprise” season putting up a line of 300/345/496 with 29 homers and 115 rbis. Not too shabby. But given his age and his insistence on a multi-year contract you can imagine the hesitation by the rangers to hand over the checkbook. Remember not too long ago the Daniels and co. declined his 9 million dollar option for 2011. So clearly the club is not ready to spend big on the DH spot. He did strike out only 60 times last year in over 600+ plate appearances. Vlad is still a legitimate hitter in the game, and if he is willing to take a one year contract at perhaps a little less than 9 million then it is very possible that we see him swinging for the fences for the Rangers again in 2011.
2. Manny Ramirez - Now here’s a guy I am very familiar with (I’m from Rhode Island). It’s very well known that Manny comes with some baggage. He may not be the be the picturesque clean cut ballplayer, but you cannot say the guy doesn’t work hard. He is a game changer, or was at least. But if you look at his stats from 2010, only playing in 90 games with a sports hernia, he still managed a line of 298/409/460. That’s pretty impressive for an off year. It appears that Ramirez and his super-agent Scott Boras are looking for a short term incentive laden contract, so in regular terms he will be cheap. I know that the average fan would be turned off by a player like Manny because of all the stuff that comes along with him. But, he has always made great impressions with his new teams, so if Daniels can keep the contract to one year I don’t see how this wouldn’t work out for both sides.
3. Jim Thome – Let’s start off by saying that it would appear Thome is going back to the twins, but it can’t hurt to at least look at it. Yes, he is getting older, but the fact of the matter is he can still hit the ball. Just take a look at his line last year 283/412/627 with 25 homers and 59 rbis in just 108 games. Those numbers, judging from his limited playing time, are better than both Manny and Vlad. Also he, like Ramirez, will most likely come cheap. He has been known to be a great clubhouse guy, and I am a huge proponent for clubhouse presences. Not to mention it wouldn’t hurt to add another left handed bat to the lineup. If Thome, at age 40, can keep up with his stats from last year he could be a legitimate and cheap DH for next year. But remember, all indications show that Thome will be back in Minnesota next year.
Honorable mentions: Magglio Ordonez, Derrek Lee and just for kicks, Gary Sheffield