Five Key Holes the Rangers Need to Fill This Winter, and How They Should Fill Them
4. Who will be the backstops?
Free agents: Gerald Laird, Russell Martin, Mike Napoli, A.J. Pierzynski, David Ross
Trade target: J.P. Arencibia
This presents the biggest challenge for JD this offseason given the limited options available. I'd like to see Texas re-sign Napoli, but his price might be difficult to meet, and he's not a full-time catcher. I'd also like to see the Rangers non-tender Geovany Soto, who's likely to fetch around $4.6 million in arbitration, which is too pricey for a backup. (A decision on Soto needs to be made by Dec. 2.)
Pierzynski had a career year this season but turns 36 next month, is unlikely to repeat his performance and has a reputation as somewhat of a clubhouse cancer.
There's a lot of discussion about a possible deal between the Rangers and Blue Jays for J.P. Arencibia, since Toronto has top prospect Travis d'Arnaud ready to take over behind the plate. However, the price for Arencibia will be significant. Although he's just a .222 career hitter, he hits for power (41 total home runs in the last two seasons), is solid defensively and won't be a free agent until after the 2016 season.
It might take Derek Holland to convince the Blue Jays to pull the trigger. Depending on who else is involved in the deal, it's something worth considering, but I'm guessing Daniels won't meet Toronto's demands.
No matter what the Rangers decide, they need to move quickly and aggressively, or risk heading into spring training with the undesirable duo of Soto and someone like Laird.
Next: What should be done to solve the logjam at second base and shortstop?