What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
The current roster is not playoff caliber barring a great deal of improbable luck. If you want to place bets on luck the starting rotation has to play much better than the historical stats indicate or the Rangers need to find an ace to pair with Yu, and I don’t see any aces dealt to Texas.
The front office has a few choices, none very good. They can try to salvage the off season. This is the longest shot. The FA TORPs are gone and only Swisher remains as a high quality bat. This necessitates upgrades via the trade market, which also is thin. Maybe there are opportunities out there but I don’t see them.
The team can play .500 ball and hope to transform prior to the July deadline. I suspect that by June AZ will realize they do not have a MLB SS and the Upton circus will begin again. With any luck a TORP emerges as well. Maybe Feliz and Colby find their pre-injury talent.
If a July rebuild does not emerge, then the Rangers need to gut it up and rebuild. Trade or nontender (if the draft pick looks better than the trade market for any FAs) Elvis, Murphy, Cruz, Harrison, Nathan, Holland (if he does not regain his lost form), and maybe even Beltre. Yes, it will be painful, but with luck and astute trading the Rangers should be on track to excel by 2015, when the Angels are older.
The Rangers will not win with dollars; this should be abundantly clear. They need to be smart and opportunistic. They can’t play it safe but have to take risks, whether those risks are relying on using home grown talent or using existing players to improve the team in the trade market. Focus on starting pitching and more starting pitching. Think Tampa, not large market FA focused teams.
Wow I think I started a post like that Primi and got blasted. But either way...I agree to an extent. The Rangers are not going to get a true ACE unless they develop him or trade for him. It is painfully obvious that no true ACE pitcher wants RBIA to be their home stadium Greinke and Lee should have proven this to us. Using that logic give up whatever you have to give up to get one! Then build around him. Hamilton while an amazing player was not the answer. True he helped make this team great for the last few years but he is gone now and he ain't coming back. Beltre is a wonderful player and I love watching him play, however he would bring an incredible return either now or at the trade deadline.
I feel like I've said this a million times, but it bears repeating: we don't need an ace. We need good pitching up and down the rotation to help get to the playoffs and gamers who compete on a game-in, game-out basis. In 2011 (without an ace), we beat Verlander and Price. In 2010, we beat Price and Sabathia (though we had Cliff Lee, the first win against Sabathia was a blowout and CJ pitched). Arguably, Colby Lewis has been our best postseason pitcher (aside from Cliff Lee), and he's clearly a mid-rotation guy and not close to an ace.
Yes, we need more pitching. We also need to be able to manufacture runs on a consistent basis, rather than playing for the long ball with a group of incredibly streaky middle-of-the-order guys.
But let's look again at who we lost this offseason offensively: Josh, Napoli, and Young. Josh and Napoli created 6.3 oWAR combined and 173 runs. Nick Swisher and AJ Pierzynski created 6.4 oWAR and 174 runs. Hamilton and Napoli can be replaced offensively. At DH, going from Young to Cruz yields a +2.6 oWAR and 20+ runs. Swisher in RF instead of Cruz probably saves another 10 runs. Gentry full-time in CF over Josh saves another 20+ runs.
I'm not saying that I'd sign Swisher and AJP, and I don't believe that stats tell the entire story (far from it). But freaking out over losing guys who are replaceable with FAs on the market right now (not to mention trades we haven't heard anything about) seems a little silly.
Right now, our path to the playoffs looks a lot like last years Orioles or A's. Count on stuff breaking your way and getting lucky. Hope things change before the end of offseason.
As it stands right now, if you can't add to the core, maybe you should shop Andrus and Beltre to try to get younger.
Have to say I'm kinda liking the '94 expos feel behind some of these projected lineups.
At least we have the Astros to look forward to. That will be a big draw and should provide padding for our win totals. And give me the sales pitch that will make FA's want to come to Texas? " We have Profar and Olt on the way..." Beltre, Kinsler and Cruz are now over 30 ...Elvis is leaving the building soon...
An ace would be nice, but I'd take a #3 at this point. That would give us 5 rotation pitchers of caliber #3 or better. I think that might be good enough.
Beware of a slow start. It will chase away all of the bandwagon fans we've picked up over the last couple of years... Arlington in August and Sept could look like it has in years past. I'll still be watching, but there will be a lot that will move on to the next trendy party...
@Chuck re Pitching at RBPIA:
I think RFan has mentioned the same thing. This means (1) pitchers will be home grown or (2) acquired through trade. This forces the Rangers to extend earlier for both sets of players, perhaps easier but riskier for the former, and difficult and more expensive for the latter. Neither seems to be working this off season.
With the additions of A.J. and Berkman (which is not yet official, granted), I'd like to take another look at our depth chart.
Barring any trades, it seems the following players will definitely be on the active roster on opening day:1. Moreland2. Kinsler3. Elvis4. Adrian5. Murphy6. Cruz7. Gentry8. Soto9. Pierzynski10. Berkman
Again, it seems like a given that, unless we get a Stanton, Upton, Bourn, etc., we'll also see:11. Leonys
Assuming we go with 13 position players, which is the norm, this leaves only 2 slots for the following:LeuryOltProfarEngelBorbon
Given that, based on the guys we expect to be on the opening roster, there isn't depth at 2B, SS, or 3B, I still think the most likely guys at this point are Profar and Olt. They provide depth at the 4 IF positions, and could be several places down on the OF depth chart, but that's probably not necessary.
Therefore, I think their current depth chart looks something like this:C: Pierzynski, Soto1B: Moreland, Berkman, Olt2B: Kinsler, ProfarSS: Elvis, Profar3B: Adrian, OltLF: Murphy, Leonys, OltCF: Gentry, LeonysRF: Cruz, Leonys, OltDH: Berkman, rotating cast
No one in this lineup currently has the ceiling Josh has, or that Pujols (or Berkman) once had. None of them is likely to have a 40/30 season like Trout did last year. This lineup isn't as good as the Angels' on paper. But I think I'm okay with that. Our rotation is arguably better than the Angels' right now, if not by that much (too many question marks in both). I think our bullpen is a step behind theirs right now too (though Soria, and any depth created by the returns of Colby and Feliz, may change that into the season), but I like our chances alright.
I would still love a trade for Stanton or Upton, but I'm not holding my breath. Not even for Upton, despite the belief of some people I respect greatly that a trade for him is inevitable. What I want most now is depth. I'd like to have a bench that's deeper than Esteban German and Andres Blanco and Alberto Gonzalez. If Profar and Olt fit that bill this year, great. If not, dammit, get somebody that we don't consider a foregone out when he pinch-hits for our pitcher in the 6th inning in an NL park.
I wonder, Andy, if having Olt and Profar on the bench is the best for them at this point. At best, they are looking at maybe 1-2 starts per week, so wouldn't they be better off in AAA where they are getting regular playing time?
Most days, I see the lineup like this:Kinsler - 2BAndrus - SSMurphy - LFBerkman - DHBeltre - 3BAJP - CCruz - RFMoreland - 1BGentry/Martin - CF
We know Kinsler, Beltre, and Andrus will get very few days off, certainly not enough for Olt and Profar to get 3+ starts each week. Are the Rangers better off using Garcia off the bench, and maybe another not-yet-signed veteran, and letting Profar and Olt get a full year of playing time in AAA? It seems likely that Andrus will be gone after 2013, so Profar will step in and take over. A year of constant playing may do him much more good than a year of sporadic playing time in the majors. Of course, there's the possibility of Olt being part of a package to get Upton, which I think would be terrific. I believe Olt's value will continue to dimish if he is only used in a bench role.
Given my thoughts of having both Olt and Profar in AAA, I could see the depth chart like this:
C: Pierzynski, Soto1B: Moreland, Berkman2B: Kinsler, GarciaSS: Andrus, Garcia3B: Beltre, (Olt, veteran IF, ?)LF: Murphy, MartinCF: Gentry, MartinRF: Cruz, MartinDH: Berkman, various
Olt would have more value at the ML level than Profar I think, since he could be used at the corner IF and OF slots, as well as DH. So I can see placing him on the active roster and leaving Profar in AAA, but again, there is the possibility of a trade, which would make discussing Olt a moot point.
Regardless of who is used during the regular season, if Olt and Profar are still around come September they could both be used on the expanded roster to give the Rangers a very nice bench for the playoff push, and then later in the postseason should the Rangers make it.
I think that's a good idea, Alan. I'm also not sure that letting them get 1-2 starts a week is going to be very good for them, so if there's not an opening, maybe AAA is where they should start. I don't know that much about Garcia. But I do hope that whomever the bench bats are, are more imposing than, say, German (I know, but he's an easy target). In the 2011 WS our bench looked terrible. If we make it there again, I hope it doesn't look like that.
Andy, it amazes me that "IF" our Rangers GM office can't get the TORP and Big Bat,why not build the bullpen and stabilize the bench. You're talking "beer change" at best.
The fact that we have to even think of Borbon, as a useable part of the 25, behooves me.Wasting young talent, as Profar or Olt part-time or on the bench, is redicules. It's nuts!
Trade to make the team better or everyday play in AAA, please. If JD get's Bourn, I'lltruely questions his new savvy.
Andy, at the current players going to Surprise, with a minor change I agree:[ in cf, flip Gentry and Martin- but then Wash is big on platoon, if they are not an all star, and the pitcher of the day will dictate who plays centerfield], . Even see Olt and Profar making the strongest bench. But the Rangers do have a line-drive -no-k- utility player already going to Surprise. Last year he was not given a good shot to be one of the 25, but Yangervis Solarte went to Round Rock and had a solid season. He can play both infield and outfield, though not outstanding defense at any, but is serviceable in a pinch. Garcia the Rangers want to try at center field, so he will need a considerable time at Frisco or Round Rock, though eventually make an outstanding utility player, and he is outstanding on defense already at second and short. So the prime unknown at Surprise, is who is the #5 starter: Perez, Ross, a free agent sign that Levine hinted at [ Bedard, Marcum, Sanchez, Matsuzaka]. Also look for Oliver to return to the Rangers.
@Obi: when I first started this thread, Berkman wasn't on the roster. He wasn't on the one I did yesterday. Look at my original post and tell me who would have been a better option.
Also, it was mentioned by several posters, and today, a few beats, that Profar and Olt might be best starting in AAA so they can get to play most days instead of 1-2 times a week. I think I agree with that. So, who will fill those last 2 spots?
Without Profar and Olt, the 25-man roster has no depth at 2B, SS, and 3B. To be fair, we have the best combination of those 3 positions in baseball. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't have anyone else to go out there, especially if one of them should get hurt in the middle of a game.
So who will fill those last 2 spots?
Andy currently it will be Borbon [who Wash would have no problem sitting on the bench] and Solarte. But if that is the Rangers intention of letting Olt and Profar stay at AAA, then look for them to sign Jason Barlett or Alex Gonzalez or Freddy Sanchez. If so, then the plan was one more year for Profar, Garcia and Beltre of seasoning, but moving them up to AAA. Olt is a different matter unless the Rangers want to turn him into a corner outfielder, and thus should be #26, iw first call up.
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