Five Key Holes the Rangers Need to Fill This Winter, and How They Should Fill Them
Trade targets: Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier, Jason Kubel, Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Morneau, Justin Upton
Hambone's reportedly asking for seven years and $175 million, and given the fat contracts handed out to Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder last offseason, he might actually get that much. But no matter what his price ends up being, consider him a goner.
I have varying levels of interest in Bourn, Swisher and B.J. Upton, but none come close to filling Hamilton's shoes at the dish (few do) and none will be worth the investment required to sign them.
Once again, the best options appear on the trade market, although I would steer clear of Justin Upton, as something appears chronically wrong with his shoulder. However, Choo and Ellsbury, both free agents at the end of next year, would be terrific additions, particularly because they bat left-handed and are five-tool players.
Arizona has outfield depth and might be willing to trade Jason Kubel, a left-handed hitter who slugged 30 homers last year and drove in 90 runs. He's under contract for $7.5 million next year and has a $7.5 million option for 2014.
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez would be an ideal fit. He's under contract for the next five years at $71 million, representing an intriguing trade chip for a Colorado club that lost 98 games this year and needs to rebuild.
Next: Who will fill the openings in the bullpen?