The Texas Rangers have started out the first month of 2019 season by playing .500 baseball. Although this is better than most prognosticators predicted, it has driven some fans into a total meltdown.
Outperforming your expectations can make the Jon Daniel haters crazy. So they grasp onto any current slump or failure and rail on the player through social media. All the while they forget that the plan was to be competitive in 2019 with eyes pointed at the new stadium and the 2020 season.
Well, it’s time to get back to reality and start thinking about where the Rangers go next. So I am bringing out the ole Crystal Ball and predicting what the Rangers roster will look like after the July 31st trade deadline.
Of course, this is all conjecture and just MY dream scenario. With all of that being said, let’s do this….
Jessie Chavez – The dream would be for him to have straightened things out enough to trade for a low-level prospect with a huge upside. Most likely he is just DFA’d (Designated for assignment).
Jeanmar Gomez – DFA’d. Clears waivers and accepts the assignment to Nashville.
Chris Martin – Traded for the low level prospect who is not on any teams top 30 prospects. However, the player turns into a sidearm specialist and starts his climb the big leagues in the mold of Darren O’Day. (It’s MY dream scenario)
Shawn Kelley – Traded for mid-level prospect of contending team. Maybe in a teams top 30 prospects, but not anywhere near the top.
Shelby Miller- DFA’d. Can’t figure out how to pitch with runners on base. This isn’t little league where Woody can change pitchers every time he walks someone or they get a hit.
Logan Forsythe – DFA’d. He is however claimed off of waivers where he plays another month for someone like Kansas City or Baltimore before the September call ups. Then he is DFA’d again.
Hunter Pence – Traded for a low-level prospect and a bag of baseballs to come off the bench for a contender. Loved by Texas fans and his new team, he gets a standing ovation on his return. After the season he signs a one day contract with the Rangers and retires. However, the Rangers trade his rights to the Giants at the last minute and he decides to play one more season. In return, the Rangers receive free soda’s for the clubhouse for two years. (I must admit I may be thinking of a movie)
Danny Santana – Rangers capitalize on his two months of good baseball. He is traded to Oakland who have sent Jurickson Profar to the IL with the yips. Profar figures things outs on rehab in AAA. Santana is eventually DFA’d after hitting .149 over two months. The Rangers receive Kris Davis in return( MY DREAM). Actually, they get low-level catcher with huge upside.
Asdrubal Cabrera – Knowing he isn’t a part of the future, the Rangers flip him to a contender needing an infielder because of injury. They don’t get more than a project in return. But he served his purpose.
Shin-Soo Choo – The best player on the team not named Elvis, Choo is traded. The Rangers eat most of his contract so that the return is a good one. He goes to the Indians for Nolan Jones. Jones a highly regarded third base prospect is sent to AA and added to the 40 man roster. (MY DREAM)
RANGERS NEW ROSTER
Mike Minor- No explanation needed.
Lance Lynn – (See Mike Minor)
Drew Smyly – Healthy again, he has become a solid number three with an ERA around 4.50. He also is starting to go five or six innings a start. He will even occasionally go 7.
Joe Palumbo – With a major league fastball and the ability to miss bats, he solidifies the fourth spot in the rotation to finish the year. With a pitch count being monitored, he averages around 5 innings a game with a solid ERA below 4.00.
Adrian Sampson/Brock Burke – The fifth spot is taken up by two guys who have been solid all season. With openers, they split the fifth rotation spot and long relief duties. Both head into the winter as solid pieces for 2020.
Brett Martin – I picked Brett to be the Rangers rookie of the year. So it goes without saying he sticks in the pen the rest of the year.
Kyle Dowdy – Dowdy continues to improve and is a solid right-handed arm.
Arial Jurado – Considered a starter, he has been solid coming out of the pen as a long reliever. He can also make a spot start when needed.
Wei-Chieh Huang – Promoted back from Nashville, he proves to be solid in any duty asked of him. He could move to a late inning guy.
Demarcus Evans – The Down East closer finishes the year in Arlington. He may even pick up a few saves as Woody goes to a closer by committee situation. He throws strikes and misses bats. He might even be brought in just to face a tough righty.
Emmanuel Clase – Probably the best fastball in the organization. The Frisco closer takes on a late-inning role. He is closer/set up by committee. Gets his feet wet in Arlington going into next year.
Jose Leclerc – After figuring things out and settling down, he becomes the Leclerc of old. With closer by committee, he becomes solid once again and flourishes. He is used in late-inning situations with a short hook for those days he isn’t solid.
Jeff Mathis/Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, C – This is not the issue with the Rangers right now. Both have done as expected. IKF is struggling a bit framing pitches. He needs to continue to grow and learn at the position.
Ronald Guzman, 1B – Guzman is solidifying himself as a legit Gold Glove first baseman. Back from injury, he continues to hit for a good average with some pop. But wins over baseball by doing the splits.
Rougned Odor, 2B – Love him or hate him he is the best they have for the position. He improves to end the season hitting .260 with 23 HRs and only a few errors. Ranger fans continue to only see the negative and call for his and Jon Daniels removal. Mainly because of the unbuttoned shirt and gold chain. (They are both the obvious culprits of his slumps)
Charles Leblanc, 3B – This is really a spot that someone like Wisdom, Davidson, Tejeda or Arias could fill. But not wanting to rush the kids, they feel Leblanc has earned it. He gets a look in the big leagues while trying to fend off younger more touted players.
Elvis Andrus, SS – If you need me to explain this, then just stop reading right now.
Willie Calhoun, LF – Promoted from Nashville and with Choo gone, he is here to stay. He is penciled in as the left fielder but also DH’s and is the reason Odor shapes up. (Woody keeps hitting him ground balls at second before games)
Delino Deshields, CF – This is another player who takes a lot of unwarranted heat. Deshields is not an All-Star caliber center fielder. But he is the best they have until Taveras, Thompson or Martinez step up. He is not really being challenged by anyone unless Scott Heineman gets healthy. Heineman is a legit CF prospect who can take out Deshields. But the shoulder injury is holding him back.
Joey Gallo, RF – See Elvis Andrus.
Nomar Mazara, DH – Sure Nomar will play some right field. He may also learn first base. Mazara isn’t the fleetest of foot, but his bat will keep him in the lineup.
Eli White, IF/OF – Able to play all SS, 2B, and CF he is versatile and athletic. Leblanc can spell Guzman at first. White can play 3rd in a pinch. His future role is as a utility player.
Carlos Tocci, OF – Tocci is only here because of the injury to Heineman. He is speedy and can pinch run if needed. He is also a good defensive center fielder. If Heineman is healthy then this spot will be his or Deshields. That’s if Scott is the starting center fielder.
Now I am sure that almost everyone will have an issue with this. I didn’t send Odor to AAA. I also didn’t have a Santana statue built at the entrance to the new stadium. But someone had to be a grown up and look at reality. Oh…….. and this is MY dream roster. The purpose is to see what this team has gone into the offseason. They can also see how the youngsters compete for a wildcard if they are still in it. The Rangers are also expected to be players in free agency. So figuring out what areas to address is paramount.
Everybody take a breath and enjoy baseball. This team may actually compete for a wild card. If they don’t, then embrace the good things. The trade deadline could be a fun one. The second half of the season could be even better.
Let’s see how this plays out. Who knows, maybe my dream roster will come true. Or I can just wipe off the cheetah crumbs and pop open another cold one. It is after all my recliner.
Featured Image: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images