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

Categories: Sports

Maegan Puetz
2. Who will replace Josh Hamilton's bat?
Free agents: Michael Bourn, Melky Cabrera, Torii Hunter, Adam LaRoche, Ryan Ludwick, Angel Pagan, Nick Swisher, B.J. Upton, Shane Victorino

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?

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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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