The Texas Rangers’ Season Is Over — What’s Next?
The Texas Rangers’ 2015 season came to an end this week in one of the wildest MLB playoff games of all time. In a season where their ace pitcher went down in spring training and your no. two starter went down within the first few innings of the season, the team still managed to overcome all the odds.
After an incredible ride this season, Jon Daniels’ season has only just begun. With questions looming at every position, let’s take a peek at what the Rangers will have to address this off season.
Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Martin Perez will be back and in the rotation barring injuries or dog related accidents. The big question is: do you bring back free agent Yovani Gallardo or Colby Lewis, or do you bet on the younger, cheaper and already controlled arms like Chi Chi Gonzalez and Nick Martinez?
Jake Diekman, Sam Dyson and Shawn Tolleson look to be the core of the bullpen next season. Keone Kela and Sam Freeman will pitch in the role-free bullpen. The Rangers have had success in the past picking up a guy or two off the waiver wire and getting good use out them like Randy Wolf or Ross Ohlendorf.
There will be some new guys like that that Mike Maddox will rub his magic mustache over and make into bullpen weapons. Also, keep your eyes on 2015 1st round draft pick Dillon Tate as the last arm in the bullpen coming out of spring training.
There are also some great arms like Darren O’Day and Tyler Clippard in free agency.
Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez are very average. This is a position that is a deep hole and has been for a while. After Jorge Alfaro was traded off in the Hamels deal the Rangers don’t have a top flight catcher in the minors. That doesn’t mean that the combo of Chirinos and Gimenez is the Rangers best option.
There are some interesting free agents at catcher, Matt Wieters being one. Coming off of Tommy John surgery he could revive his career with a change of scenery. Former Ranger Jarrod Saltalamacchia is also a free agent and intriguing with a cheap one-year deal.
Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor will be playing in the infield in 2016. Mitch Moreland might be a trade piece after a break out year and Joey Gallo knocking on the door looking for playing time. Mike Napoli, who found his stroke in Texas, will leave again in search of an everyday job.
The X factor here is Jurickson Profar. I think 2016 is the year that the prodigal son returns and proves his worth. Utility role? He could play all four infield positions.
Also, Chris Davis is a free agent. Just going to leave that here.
This could finally be the year that Justin Upton comes to Texas. Jon Daniels tried to get him from Arizona, Atlanta and probably from San Diego, too. I don’t think a huge contract makes since with Shin-Soo Choo already weighing down the right corner with his contract, but his bat makes a ton of sense.
That makes Josh Hamilton the odd man out with Delino DeShields cementing his place in center field. Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara are also knocking on the door in the minors.