Yesterday I discussed what my wants for the 2014 Texas Rangers were, and as I expected, because I am a brain case, I totally forgot to mention a DH in the piece. Thanks to my awesome twitter following, in particular this one follower right here:
Anyway, before I get to the expectations, I do believe that the Rangers need a DH. Who, you might ask? Well we will go more in depth on this site in the near future position by position (See David Cash’s article on Catchers here). I do know who I don’t want the Rangers to bring back as their DH: Lance Berkman. He was a bit of a disaster. People may think I am crazy, but I would be fine with bringing Michael Young back, but it is well know that Jon Daniels and Young don’t really like each other, and the Rangers could probably do better. But more on the who later.
My expectations are that the Rangers will be in the hunt for a good bit of the free agents that are out there in the places the Rangers need players, but most of the big name guys I discussed yesterday will either be too expensive or Daniels and his staff won’t like something about them. I have to believe that this will be a much better off season that the 2012-2013 one was, because if it isn’t, this team may have some problems going into the season.
At catcher, I tend to agree with David. I expect the Rangers to bring back Soto to be the backup catcher, and I expect them to make a run at A.J. Pierzynski again and try to convince him to stay in Texas. I also am not sure that is going to happen, so I think the Rangers will wind up with another relatively unknown catcher who will have a decent season. I don’t really know who, hence the relatively unknown comment. Maybe a Salty, maybe a Matt Treanor journeyman type, but I don’t think it will be McCann.
I think in the outfield that Rangers will have Rios in right, Martin in center and Gentry and maybe Engle Beltre in left as a platoon. Unless of course they trade Kinlser for a power hitting outfielder. There are a few others who may be able to earn a spot in spring training, we will just have to wait and see who gets invited to the party. The Rangers are probably not going to be all in on someone like Ellsburry or Choo, they will probably go with what they got or make a trade, and I never know who Daniels and crew are going to trade for.
I think Mitch has a 50/50 shot of retaining first base, depending on what the Rangers decide to do with Kinsler and Profar. I am 80% positive that Profar will be the Rangers everyday second baseman in 2014, which means either Kinsler gets traded or moves to first base. they don’t need him in right field this season because they have Rios there, and he is too young to take over as the everyday DH. I believe that Kinsler will be traded for an outfielder or an everyday DH, and some minor league pitching. That is what I expect anyway.
As far as pitching goes, I think the Rangers will let Nathan go and have Scheppers, Soria and Feilz vie for the closers spot. I also think that Ogando will go back to the pen. That leaves that fifth starters spot wide open for someone like a Nick Tepesch to try and win during camp. Do I believe the Rangers are going to go after a free agent pitcher? No, I don’t. They have plenty of depth and I think they will try and make it work with what they have. I would not be too disappointed with that approach either, as long as they bring in some bats. Some good, power bats.
If the Rangers follow with my expectations, they will not be as good as I hope they will be. They need to get the impact bat, but I am just not sure they think the right guy is out there. So that is what I expect, now let the off season craziness begin!