Five Key Holes the Rangers Need to Fill This Winter, and How They Should Fill Them

Categories: Sports

Maegan Puetz
Just a few days after the 2012 MLB season kicked off in Japan, one of the elite players scheduled to become a free agent in the coming offseason took himself off the market. The Giants enticed Matt Cain to stay in San Francisco, signing him to a six-year, $127.5 million contract extension -- the most money awarded to a right-handed pitcher in history.

Another premier soon-to-be free agent followed in late July, when Cole Hamels signed a six-year, $144 million deal in Philadelphia. Only Yankees southpaw CC Sabathia had signed a larger contract (seven years, $161 million) among pitchers in history, and only Sabathia earns a higher average annual salary ($24.4 million) than Hamels ($24 million) among active pitchers.

Despite both ace hurlers landing historic contracts, they actually left millions of dollars on the table. At a time when television contracts are exploding in value, stadium revenues are up and several teams seemingly have money burning holes in their pockets, it's reasonable to suggest Cain and Hamels could have done even better had they shopped themselves to 30 teams instead of one.

Which brings us to Zack Greinke.

No matter what happened with Cain and Hamels, Greinke was set to be among the most-coveted free agents this offseason. But now that they're unavailable, Greinke has risen to the No. 1 spot on the list. And there's no shortage of suitors, led by both Los Angeles teams and Your Texas Rangers.

Greinke has been available two other times, first in December 2010, when he was dealt to Milwaukee, and this year in July, when he was traded to the Angels. The Rangers reportedly had strong interest both times, but they ultimately balked at surrendering the prospects necessary to acquire the former Cy Young Award winner.

This time, the Rangers would have to dip into their pockets instead of the farm system, but the result is likely to be the same: Greinke will end up elsewhere. I'd be surprised if Greinke signs for anything less than seven years and $175 million, a price I expect the Angels to meet.

As much as the Rangers could use Greinke in their rotation, I just don't see them outbidding the Angels, or the Dodgers for that matter. So while Greinke's name will continue to be linked to Texas countless times in the next month heading into the December 3 Winter Meetings in Nashville, the odds of him landing in Arlington are slim at best, especially since Texas has other needs.

So: Let's take a look at the Rangers' top five offseason questions now that free agency is officially underway and how general manager Jon Daniels might answer them.

Next: Filling out the rotation.

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ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Oh and Thanks Joe for letting Merten sling us a little baseball writing, its always a good read

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

On trading SS, would you rather have the known of Elvis who could leave in 2 years or Profar under long term control?  Couldnt you hope to fleece someone ala the Texiera trade with Elvis?


With Hambone, could you see this team changing over from a power hitting HR machine to a more speedy slap the ball around and run the hell out of teams?  Wouldnt that be wasting the advantage we have as a power team in our park


I say give Soria a shot in the pen.  You got Nathan to close but he is on his last year and if Soria fully recovers from his surgery and is anywhere near where he was last year, he slides right into the closer role in 2014.


Id rather pay Napoli more to hit .220 here than Arencibia, at least we know Nap works well with the staff



 Nobody is going to pull a robbery like the Rangers did with the Braves ever again. That was like the Herchel Walker trade. But even if someone was dumb enough to do that, it wouldnt be for a player like Elvis. Tex had muuuch more value at the time. The guy was a .300 hitter with power and also just happened to be the best defensive first baseman in the league. And yes, I did say was.


I agree about Soria but expect him to sign with the Yankees. They will need him if they dont resign Soriano. His agent said that going to New York to set up Mo is the only place that he would be willing to go if he wasnt going to be the 9th inning guy.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @JustSaying true on the trade but Elvis is the next Jeter, but Im sure if we traded him to NY we'd choose Arias over Cano.


 @Mervis I agree that Elvis is not the next Jeter. But its not like Jeter is known for his power. I think the main difference is, as much as I like Andrus, he always seems to make one bone-headed play per game. It might be baserunning, it might be fielding. He just always seems to pull one head scratcher out of his ass. Jeter never did that.



@ScottsMerkin @JustSaying Elvis is not the next Jeter because he lacks any kind of power. 4 years and here are his HR total 5,6,0,3.

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