John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
Texas would love to add another high level hitter to the fold. There happens to be one of the best sitting on the market right now in Robinson Cano. It has already been rumored that Jon Daniels is considering the lefty slugger. It certainly is not time to consider the Rangers truly in the bidding for Cano. After all where would they put him if they signed him now? The middle infield is anchored with Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar.
Usually I do not advocate signing the big time, middle age, free agent. Recent signings, much to the delight of fans of the Rangers worldwide, have not worked out. Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and our very own Prince Fielder have all signed large contracts over the past two offseasons, and none of them have really played up to their contract. Pujols and Hamilton have been downright disasters in their days as Angels. Their awful play has eased the sting of two disappointing seasons in Arlington: at least the Angels are worse than us.
All that aside, what if Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers want to be aggressive about putting themselves back into position to get back to the World Series?
I have a proposal.
Texas deals Elvis Andrus and prospects to Tampa Bay for David Price and then signs Robinson Cano.
Why does this make sense? Tampa Bay wants a shortstop and Elvis Andrus is a great shortstop. Texas has a shortstop to replace Andrus in Jurickson Profar. This trade would free up 100 million dollars from Andrus’s contract and would open a position at second base. Right now it appears that Texas could sign Cano for 8 years and less than 200 million. It is not clear that it will stay that way but if it does it would be hard to pass up Cano for a contract like seven or eight years and 170 or 190 million. The Rangers would remove 100 million with Andrus and then pick up 180 million with Cano. If Texas has roughly 15 million left before they hit their target budget then Cano and Price are affordable. Removing 15 million of Andrus’s money and taking on the 10 million owed Price and the 25 million it would take to get Cano this year it would only put Texas over their target budget by 5 million. These two deals would transform the Rangers’ lineup and rotation. Imagine the following;
A Traditional Lineup:
- Leonys Martin
- Jurickson Profar
- Robinson Cano
- Adrian Beltre
- Prince Fielder
- Alex Rios
- Geovany Soto
- Mitch Moreland
- Craig Gentry
This team would be an instant favorite for the World Series.
Why does this deal does not make sense? The long term money might not make sense. While Tampa Bay could afford Andrus’s 15 million this year, it seems unlikely that they would want the rest of his deal. Andrus is young and Tampa Bay is ok with giving money to young players but Andrus’s deal might be too much for the small market team. Rumor has it that Tampa Bay wants a shortstop although I have trouble seeing it based on Yunel Escobar’s excellent play last year.
The long term money might not make sense for Texas either. The team has already taken on Fielder’s money. Cano’s money might be doable with the big media money coming to Texas but if Texas acquires Price, Daniels will want to extend him. That extension would likely cost another 150 million or more which would make for three very large contracts even after Beltre’s contract expires. This is likely why this insane proposal is one that we can only dream about. Texas is not going to handcuff itself in the future for a window now. Even this year, Texas has other positions such as catcher and left field that would not be filled. These would be inconsequential if the lineup was bolstered by Cano and the rotation by Price. The improved rotation and Cano’s power would easily make up for any missed additions at catcher or in left field.
Is this going to happen? No. None the less this is what the hot stove season is about; rumors and dreams. I am not sure if I would want this to happen even if it were a real possibility.