By now, you’ve all probably heard that the Rangers are actively pursuing and highly interested in Jim Thome. He is a very solid hitter despite the fact that he is 40 years old. I think that the Rangers should definitely keep pursuing him and do what they can to sign him. They’ve lost out on enough this year – Lee and Garza – and don’t need to do it again.
Thome is definitely going to take a decent chunk out of the Ranger’s money. I mean, they shelled out a decent amount signing Adrian Beltre. Now, with several players available for arbitration – among those being Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz – money is something that should be considered. They did at least get one of the arbitration eligible players out of the way by signing a one-year deal with rookie David Murphy totaling $2.4 million.
But what’s going to happen to the lineup once Thome is signed? He’ll obviously be signed as the DH – and he’d be a better one that Michael Young as he actually has that “pop” needed to be a solid DH. Now, I like Michael Young, I think he is a great player and definitely adds a good vibe to the team; however, in a DH spot, I don’t think he could handle it as well as others, such as Thome.
The plan will likely be for Thome and Young to split the time at DH with Thome hitting against right-handed pitchers while left-handed pitchers would throw to Young.
However, Young wants his at-bats…that was part of the deal when the Rangers signed Beltre. So, if he were to get his at-bats then he would have to play more first base because filling in around the infield simply wouldn’t suffice. Young is already scheduled to be learning first base when spring training rolls around and gets underway, but it may be even more important for him to do so should the club sign Thome.
Where does that leave current first baseman Mitch Moreland? Well, the rookie had a spectacular year with the Rangers in 2010, but I’m thinking that the Rangers will likely send him to AAA. On the other hand, he may very well be part of a package to acquire a starting pitcher.
What the case may be, Ron Washington is definitely going to have to make moves should they sign Thome. My true opinion is that the Rangers should sign Thome because he is going to add some serious depth in the bullpen and definitely put some shakes into the opposing pitcher. I mean, think about it: a lineup of Adrian Beltre, Jim Thome, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, etc. etc. – who wouldn’t be scared?
Now, while I do believe Thome should be signed by the Rangers, I do not believe that Young should be traded; some would definitely disagree including my co-writer here at Nolan Writin’. He is a good, strong team player and he is the unofficial team captain. Young has switched positions several times in his career and can do it again. He has no problem adjusting to the positions when he is moved and now wouldn’t be any different.
I’m no manager so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Personally, I think that Moreland will get sent to AAA OR he’ll be used in a trade package – maybe for a starting pitcher, Thome and Young will share DH duties while playing first base. The fact remains: another move will come…
So, what are your opinions? Do you think the Rangers should sign Thome? What do you think will happen to Young and Moreland if so? Chime in below!