With the 2020 offseason officially underway, every team in baseball starts out with a plan. Most usually have a plan B, C, D, etc……. in case their top priorities don’t pan out.
With that in that mind, let’s look at possible plans E, F, G and H that the Rangers could pursue. These are ideas that aren’t really being discussed when it comes to the Rangers this offseason.
This has always been to sign one of the top 4 or 5 free-agent starting pitchers. Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strausburg, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner or Hyun-Jin Ryu. There has also been discussions of trading for a top tier starter. These names include David Price or Noah Syndergaard.
Plan B thru D
To get a starter or two from the next wave of free agents. Those names being mentioned are Dallas Keuchel, Jake Odorizzi, Cole Hamels or Michael Pineda. There is also talk of feeling out Detroit and Matthew Boyd.
If the Rangers were to get any of the pitchers listed in plans A-D, they would still need another starting pitcher. Jordan Lyles is a cheap option. He started out with Pittsburg last year before being traded to the Brewers in the second half of the season. Milwaukie is where he ended the season going 7-1 with a 2.25 ERA. Lyles might be the next Lynn or Minor. Someone who figures things out at just the right time. Those numbers are not bad for a 3 or 4 starter. What about trading for Robbie Ray from Arizona? The Diamondbacks tried to move Ray during the trade deadline. Could he possibly be on the block this winter? Arizona would want a major league ready pitcher and an outfielder. This could be a spot to send Mazara. Would the Diamondbacks consider sending Robbie Ray to the Rangers for Mazara and Burke?
It’s pretty obvious that Anthony Rendon has been the top target this winter at third base. The Rangers are not likely to go for more than 5 years. This could mean that he goes elsewhere. Although there are suggestions that with a high average salary, he might consider a five-year deal.
Plan B thru D
The most likely scenario is in this category. Josh Donaldson has always been plan B. There is also talk about Mike Moustakas from the Brewers. It has been mentioned that the Cubs could be looking to move some salary and trade some of its core players. That was the name Kris Bryant being bantered about. (This is the least likely to happen)
I think everyone agrees that the Rangers have some depth at the third base position in the farm system. Is the plan to cover that position until they get here? How about getting creative in the interim. Would the Giants eat about half of the remaining contract for Evan Longoria? He is signed through 2023. If the Rangers were on the hook for about $34 million that is cheaper than Donaldson or Moustakas. Longoria is also a right-handed bat who could DH if he declines too much or is pushed by a youngster.
Yes, he already declining now. Could a change of scenery do him good? What about World Series hero Howie Kendrick? He would be cheap. What about the Phillies Brad Miller? He hit 8 HR’s with 1.139 OPS in September. Would Elvis move over to third base? LET’S GET CRAZY!!!! The Indians might be shopping Lindor. The Red Sox might move Bogaerts. If the Rangers could pull off a blockbuster with either team, would Andrus play third? Hmmm.
1B, 2B, CF, C (The Rest)
I think for now the plan is to have Odor start at 2B, Guzman at 1B and Santana in CF.
Plan B thru D
If the Rangers were to move any of those players in a deal then they could sign free agents or move utility guys into a starting role. An example would be Solak taking over second base if Odor was moved.
Let’s look at the possible free agents if those three positions needed to be filled. Mitch Moreland is a free agent. So is Ryan Zimmerman. Any of those two would fill first base. Grandal is available if a catching upgrade is needed. Shogo Akiyama is coming over from Japan. He is a center fielder. Levi Weaver said he has heard that he may move to a corner outfield position.
Who knows? There are too many to list. Whether it is trades or free agents, you just can’t predict moves.
With all of this mind, let us play a game. I am The Recliner Nerd. I am the Rangers GM. I am about to tell you my offseason moves and opening day lineup.
First I sign Josh Donaldson to a three year deal for $63,000,000.00.
Second I sign Hyun-Jin Ryu for three years and $52,000,000.00.
Then I sign Jordan Lyles to a 2 year $16,000,000.00 deal.
I sign Felix Hernandez to a one year deal for $2,000,000.00.
I sign Howie Kendrick to one year deal for $6,000,000.00
I trade Nomar Mazara to the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Jonathan Stiever.
2020 Opening Day Lineup/Roster
- Choo DH
- Calhoun LF
- Donaldson 3B
- Gallo RF
- Santana CF
- Andrus SS
- Odor 2B
- Guzman 1B
- Trevino C
Bench: Kendrick UT, Solak UT, Deshields OF, Mathis C
Rotation: Minor, Lynn, Ryu, Lyles, Palumbo
Openers/Long Relief: Hernandez, Burke
Bullpen: Leclerc, Clase, Montero, B. Martin, Chavez, Evans
If Odor and Guzman aren’t hitting again then they are relegated to bench or platoon with Solak, Kendrick.
I wait to see who falters and then pounce on a blockbuster trade deadline deal to boost the team. Allard, Jurado, Mendoza, Hearn & Stiever make up Nashville rotation and depth for big leagues.
Do I get fired?
Featured Image: Dylan Buell/Getty Images