The Texas Rangers 2012 season ended with a historic collapse and thus far the 2012-2013 offseason is keeping pace. †
Thus far the Rangers have jettisoned all-time hits leader Michael Young for financial relief and bullpen help, failed to sign free agent targets Torii Hunter, Russell Martin,† Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton and Koji Uehara and of course they werenít able to pull off trades for outfielder Justin Upton and pitcher James Shields.†
This is ironic since when Texas left the Winter Meetings last week, the Rangers front office appeared to be close to signing Greinke and Hamilton and trading for Justin Upton.†
The departure of Hamilton is not itself a bad event. It is the failure of Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and Plan D that makes the Hamilton departure feel much worse than it is in reality.†
Now the Rangers havenít made any positive changes and now have to get up off the mat after all the teams around them get stronger. †
Whether they are overvaluing their talent and not trading it or undervaluing each free agent they have attempted to sign are legitimate questions, but each time they have failed to score in the red zone in each instance.†
The last remaining true centerfield target is Michael Bourn.† Big swingers Nick Swisher and Adam LaRoche are also available and someone with a big stick has to hit in the middle of the Rangersí lineup. †
Hypothetically speaking, put Bourn and Swisher in a lineup with Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and either Craig Gentry or Leonys Martin and the Rangers will have a very speedy lineup.† † †
Kyle Loshe and Edwin Jackson are now the next two best free agent starting pitchers. Put one of those middle of the rotation free agents behind Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland and you have stronger staff that can keep you in the division race.†
Consider the money factor now for the Rangers. They are not spending more than $50 million a year for the next three to five years on just two players. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will have four players making $20 million a year, two of which are for each of the next five years. Texas will have money to spend, if it can convince free agents to come to Texas.
Right now the Texas line up features Geovany Soto (C), Beltre (3B), Andrus (SS), Profar (2B), Kinsler or Moreland (1B or DH), Murphy (LF), Gentry/Martin (CF) and Nelson Cruz (RF). Two legitimate big swingers and four guys who can run. †
Mike Olt is not ready to step in the middle of the order and help Beltre so Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan should be calling LaRoche and Swisher today. †
Texas needs to get up off the mat and sign a big stick and a pitcher for insurance purposes. †
Hope is not lost, just dampened.