Texas Rangers State Of The Union For 2017: Jon Daniels Must Counter To Houston/Seattle’s Early Moves
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner)
The Rangers have been one of the better teams in the MLB since the 2010 season. Back to Back AL Pennants, and now back to back AL West Division wins have seen them reach the playoff 5 times out of the last 7 campaigns.
Simply put, the development of all of their Draft Picks, domestically or international, coupled with the management’s keen eye for talent, have the club still in the conversation for another few years.
Here is the thing though….The Astros and Mariners have been the two busiest clubs in acquiring talent thus far in the winter. Both of these teams have closed or narrowed the gap on Texas already,
Houston has signed Free Agents Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran – with also dealing for Brian McCann. This will not affect their 2017 squad as both didn’t require anybody from the Major League Roster to get it done.
Seattle has not made as big of a splash like Houston, but has shored up some depth, and have nicely added Jean Segura (who was an ALL – Star and top 15 NL MVP in 2016 – without losing anything of note.)
Texas has signed Andrew Cashner and lost Beltran for sure…yikes..
(Update) Moreland signed in Boston, Desmond in Colorado, and Gomez did re-sign with Texas. The club then traded for Tyrell Jenkins -who may compete for a spot at the end of the rotation.
With the Winter Meetings now past us, it is time for the brass and ownership to get serious for 2017!
This franchise also does not have Prince Fielder in the middle of the lineup to start the season. This is a tough story to follow based on my like for Fielder as a player for his career, yet his sudden retirement still gives the club some more money to dole out on contracts going forward, since they will recoup some dough in insurance.
For the payroll under the current roster configuration, the organization looks to be on the hook for about $128.2 MIL Lucky for Texas, the new CBA should dissuade the Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers from blowing past the Luxury Tax Threshold, so the competition for the upper echelon teams in the Junior Circuit is actually a path less of resistance than before.
It is time to start spending some money fellas!
To their credit – the powers that be are kicking the tires for players such as Edwin Encarnacion sitll, and the urgency should now grow considering they still need to replenish some power from last year. At worst, you can still play Deshields in CF…Speed will at least come to the table.
I firmly believe that Texas needs to land Encarnacion. First Base/DH and an #4 /#5 SPare the biggest needs to address this winter. The rest of the Infield is set with Beltre, Elvis Andrus. Odor and Lucroy manning positions.
Beyond the grass, Mazara will start his sophomore campaign. The Desmond signing leaves the likes of Delino Deshields, Ryan Rua and Joey Gallo to be in the mix for playing time for AB as the 4th OF – and extra DH.
The Lineup would perfect with Encarnacion balancing out the high Strikeouts from Odor and Gallo. Even with Striking out 138 times in 2016, that was the 1st time he had eclipsed 100 plus punchouts in 8 campaigns, but he also Walked 87 times for a career high.
Encarnacion is decent enough at First base not to hurt you Besides around the horn with Beltre/Andrus/Odor and Lucroy all stalwart defensive acts, you can have just an average man over there.
(Projected Lineup) – Choo/Gomez/Encarnacion/Beltre//Lucroy/Mazara/Odor/DH like Gallo or Profar/Andrus and Gomez/Deshields.
The are just fine at Starting Pitcher for depth – although they always seem to find a deal with Colby Lewis, who won 17 games in 2015 (1.236 WHIP, 4.66 ERA in 204 IP), despite actually pitching better in 2016 (1.126 WHIP, 3.71 ERA in 1161 IP) – and would be a welcomed returnee for 2017.
Yohander Mendez (The club’s number 1 Prospect and Starter) could also aid to cover some Innings in 2017 as well.
Texas still has a strong Relief Core anchored by Closer Sam Dyson, alongside flamethrowers like Jake Diekman and Matt Bush. Keone Kela and Jeremy Jeffress have also shown several flashes of brilliance in late inning Relief as well.
If I were in management’s shoes, all of the allocated dollars would go to the offense here. A smart maneuver would may be to acquire a Starter at the midway point of the season – as to not pay a full year of salary to that guy.
By then, maybe a Joey Gallo or Jurickson Profar may have built enough value to be included in a trade.
Whether they end up signing Encarnacion – the Rangers have to start to land some roster improvements – or they will not win a 3rd Division Title – and possibly be bypassed out of the playoff race altogether in 2017.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.
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Posted on December 5, 2016, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged adrian beltre, AL West, Andrew Cashner, ballpark in arlington, carlos beltran, carlos gomez, colby lewis, delino deshields, edwin encarnacion, elvis andrus, Hanser Alberto, houston astros, ian desmond, jake diekman, Joey Gallo, jon daniels, jonathan lucroy, josh reddick, jurickson profar, Keone Kela, martin perez, mitch moreland, new york yankees, nomar mazara, prince fielder, robinson chirinos, Rougned Odor, Ryan Rua, Sam Dyson, seattle mariners, shin-soo choo, texas rangers, yu darvish. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.