Can Moreland Get Back on Track or Do We Look Elsewhere? (Photo credit: Zimbio.com)

Rangers Big Board: Infielders

Plenty to talk about that I will let the other great writers here cover.  I am wondering what’s going on with the big board now that Tori Hunter is out. Moving on. The infield situation is far from being set. With the team doing all it can to hang on to Elvis Andrus, you just about have to believe that the new double play combo will be Andrus and Profar. We know we’re set at third (Beltre), so that just leaves first base and the bench.

Abysmal would be a kind way to put what our production was from first base. Moreland, Napoli, Young, Olt and Snyder combined (COMBINED) for a 2.0 WAR last season. Best of the bunch was Napoli and he was on the DL for a long stretch. Putrid offensive numbers from the lot and not good in the clutch. It also hurt us defensively too with Moreland being the only pure first baseman we had and he also spent a chunk of time on the DL. It was a position that was nowhere near as productive as what we need at first base (or any team for that matter). Within the system there isn’t an easy answer.

What has to be determined is if Olt can handle the position 100 games or so. He had a tremendous year in the minors and like Profar wasn’t really given ample opportunity to prove himself. But he had a problematic foot too. Michael Young was simply not Michael Young and most expect him to have a significantly diminished role with the club next season. Mitch Moreland developed new problems at the plate and was not even the same guy he was in 2011. Napoli may or may not be with us and there has been new speculation (nothing from Ranger brass) that Kinsler may get a look at first. But his problems were in all phases of the game last season.

Looking outside, there have been reports that the Rangers have been in hot pursuit of Adam LaRoche. LaRoche would be a significant upgrade over the entire feel of Ranger first basemen last season. His WAR was almost twice of the group and almost twice of our highest WAR number belonging to Mike Napoli.  He would be a solid addition and is being pursued by more than the Rangers.  Other names that may interest the club include Kevin Youklis, Nick Swisher and Carlos Pena. There’s always a possible trade looming, but nothing in the ether as of this moment. We have not been strong at first base since Mark Teixera was traded.

On the bench, there are some free agents available, namely Ronny Cedeno and Marco Scutaro, though the Giants seem interested in getting him back.

This is all based on Ranger front office actions so far. The off-season is young and even as I write this, ESPN is floating the idea that Giancarlo Stanton could be had in a package deal  led by Profar. That would mean one thing.

The Big Board would look a lot different.

Tags: Adam LaRoche Brandon Snyder Carlos Pena Elvis Andrus Ian Kinsler Jurickson Profar Kevin Youklis Marco Scutaro Mark Teixera Michael Young Mike Napoli Mike Olt Nick Swisher Ronny Deceno San Francisco Giants Tori Hunter

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