I took a few weeks off due to some personal issues, and of course a lot of things happened during the time that I was off. I know you are all just waiting to hear what I think, so I am going to finally tell you.
The Texas Rangers are shaping up to be a very different team in 2014 than they were in 2013. For one, David Murphy is no longer a Ranger. He signed a two year deal with the Cleveland Indians. I know that a multitude of Texas Ranger fans were very low on David Murphy, especially considering how badly he played in 2013, but I believe that you couldn’t ask for a better fourth outfielder off the bench. He always did a great job in that role, but he just wasn’t suited to be an everyday outfielder for the Texas Rangers. I don’t know what it was, but I assume that it was the same problem that former Rangers first baseman Chris Davis had, that being a mental problem. We know that Murph can hit, but he couldn’t seem to be able to hit when he was a starter. Even in 2013, Murph did well as a pinch hitter and as a late inning replacement. I will miss his positive attitude, his walk up song (even though we all made fun of it, I have to admit, it grew on me), and I will miss his ability over the years to pinch hit successfully.
Of course, that is not quite the biggest move the Rangers have made so far this offseason. The Texas Rangers traded second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for first baseman Prince Fielder. Fielder, although he had a down year in 2013, says he is looking forward to a fresh start with the Rangers and I think he will be a force to be reckoned with, especially with the way right field is in Arlington. My initial reaction was I did not like the deal, but the more I think about it, the more I think that this will be a good thing for both teams. The money is more that I would liked to have spent on a first baseman, but the Texas Rangers admittedly needed a left handed power hitter, and I think they got one in Prince Fielder. The Rangers also say that they have not given up on Mitch Moreland yet, but he can’t be feeling really good about his position with the team right now. Prince will probably DH some, and Mitch might be delegated to a bench player instead of an everyday player. We will just have to wait and see.
It is not even December yet, and the Rangers are looking better this off-season so far than they did last off-season. I am pleased that Daniels and his crew were able to make an impactful trade. I believe that Jurickson Profar is going to be a great second baseman, and he has power, I just don’t know when he will start showing it. Now that I am back in writing shape, let the free agent acquisitions continue!