Well, now that it has settled in that Jim Thome will not be joining the Rangers this season what’s next? Thome signed to go return to the Twins for reportedly a one year, 3 million dollar deal plus incentives. He chose to turn down the Rangers more lucrative deal to stay closer to his Chicago home. Can’t knock a guy for that, but it would have been a nice fit in Texas.
With the Rangers losing out on their third target this offseason, if you include Cliff Lee and Matt Garza (which personally I think is a blessing in disguise on those two guys), one has to wonder if Jon Daniels has any cards up his sleeve. As I’ve stated before, the left handed Thome would have been the perfect complimentary piece to slip in at DH in this right handed heavy lineup. But after Thome, there just aren’t any viable lefty options at DH left on the free agent market. Does that mean I think the Rangers should stand pat and slot in Michael Young at DH? To put it simply, no. I’ve been pretty vocal about my feelings of Young as the team’s DH. I just don’t understand how you can rationalize paying a guy 16 million dollars to play a position known for power when Young puts up the numbers he does. There are still a handful of guys who can handle that role, who will come much cheaper and put up better numbers. An ex-Ranger for one, Vladimir Guerrero. I understand that Texas has said they will not be pursuing him after they acquired Adrian Beltre, but in baseball a lot of things are said. I still would not be surprised for Texas to sign him to a one year deal and let him slug it out one more time. But if not Guerrero, then who? A few weeks ago I put together a list of names that I thought made sense for Texas, my three names? Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, and Manny Ramirez. And I’m going to stand by these guys, I still think any of these three would be a great fit for the Rangers at the DH spot. We all know what Vlad can do for Texas, and trust me, Manny is no downgrade. Both would come relatively cheap so it would not be a huge risk. And considering two of these guys are still available, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Daniels and Co. signed one of them before the end of next week.
WHEN, not if, when one of these guys are signed, Young will no doubt be the odd man out. What to do with a guy who has a career line of .300 hitter? Don’t hate me for this Texas; but I say trade him. Yes, we would have to throw in some money and his value is not the highest, but it isn’t going to get any better. We have a young capable guy at first and the infield logjam so there really is no room for Young to play nearly as much as he wants. And I’d rather have no Young than a disgruntled clubhouse. I know that Young has stated he will do what he has to, but when its June and July and he has not been playing regularly he’s going to get upset. And I’m a huge proponent of clubhouse chemistry. But again, this is just my opinion and I know many people who would disagree with me, see Stacy Smith.
Just some food for thought. Let me know what you think. I’d love to get some feedback.