Jul 28, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington (38) makes a call to the bullpen in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
As the final countdown for the Masahiro Tanaka comes to an end, the list of potential winners is narrowing. The Texas Rangers are not on the list of 5 teams that are in the running to sign the Japanese pitcher. It is rumored that the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago Cubs are the top clubs in the running.
With the recent injury to Derek Holland, it is probably on the minds of many Texas Rangers fans that Jon Daniels should make a strong consideration for Masahiro Tanaka. But Jon Daniels has said a few times that they are not looking to sign another big name. It is reported that Masahiro Tanaka will command a large salary, probably 6 years for $120 million. The winning team will also need to put up a $20 million posting fee.
Is there a chance the Texas Rangers might still sign him? It’s doubtful, Bob Simpson has stated that the team is currently over budget for opening day. That makes it seem very doubtful that they will sign Masahiro Tanaka.
"Owner and co-chairman Bob Simpson said the Texas Rangers are “a little bit out of budget” by signing Shin-Soo Choo to a $130 million contract, and doesn’t expect the team to aggressively pursue Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. (Star-Telegram – Drew Davison)"
It seems the Texas Rangers will be relying on the return of Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis to for the 2014 season. While it is assumed that Harrison will be back in form and make the starting rotation, Lewis is doubtful for the beginning of the season. Lewis does have an invite to spring training and will play in the minors for the 2014 season, there is no word yet of him being a starter in 2014. It seems more likely they will promote from with in. That means they could use someone like Neal Cotts or Robbie Ross to fill the void that Derek Holland will leave for the first half of the season.
Also, there is the option to sign some more affordable free agents such as Matt Garza, Jerome Williams, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ervin Santana. Pitchers and catchers reports on February 16, just a few weeks away. Hopefully in the next few days we’ll know what Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers plan to do to solve the starting rotation problems.