Gerritt Cole, Stephen Strausburg, Anthony Rendon, Dallas Keuche, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Madison Bumgarner, and Nicholas Castellanos. The list of names keeps growing as teams look to fill rosters for the 2020 season.
Scott Boras has negotiated over $1 billion dollars in free-agent contracts this winter. Teams are talking trades more than last year. Yep, the 2019-2020 offseason has been a whirlwind.
The Texas Rangers have been mentioned at least once with every top free agent. Anthony Rendon was thought to be trying on the powder blue uniforms, right up until he signed with the Angels. Gerrit Cole was supposed to be an Angel, until the Yankees went 9 years and $324 million.
When the baseball offseason began I played ‘Armchair GM” and listed moves I would make as the Rangers’ GM.
- Sign Josh Donaldson
- Sign Hyun-Jin Ryu
- Sign Jordan Lyles
- Sign Felix Hernandez
- Sign Howie Kendrick
- Trade Nomar Mazara to the White Sox for a minor league pitcher.
As the winter played out it seemed as if Jon Daniels was taking my advice. He signed Jordan Lyles to a two-year deal. He then traded Mazara to the White Sox. However, Ryu signed with the Blue Jays and Kendrick went back to the Nationals.
Then a couple of weeks later a decision to play “Armchair GM Round 2”. I came up with a second list of ideas after Rendon signed with Angels and it seemed the Rangers were out of Donaldson.
- I proposed a trade to the Giants for Evan Longoria and$10 million in salary relief.
- I said they should sign Nicholas Castellanos to play 1B, OF and DH.
- I then said to sign Dallas Keuchel.
Daniels has largely ignored my second round of ideas. He did, however, make a trade with the Cleveland Indians for Cory Kluber. Throughout baseball, this was applauded as a shrewd move. Rangers sent hard-throwing bullpen arm Emmanuel Clase and fourth outfielder Delino Deshields. Kluber could slide into the Ranger rotation as the ace or best third starter in baseball. As it stands now the Rangers have the best rotation they have had in JD’s tenure as GM.
The rumor now is that the Rangers have turned towards the mountains of Colorado to inquire about trading for Nolan Arenado. Were this to come to fruition, Daniels would have the best offseason of any other American League team. The Rangers would be legit wildcard contenders and fringe AL West favorites.
The problem is that getting Arenado seems a bit farfetched. Jamey Newburg and Rockies beat writer Nick Groke settled on a trade that sends Brock Burke, Tyler Phillips, Reid Anderson, J.P. Martinez, and Matt Whatley to the Rockies for Arenado and utility man Garrett Hampson and $50 million in salary relief.
It is fun to ponder a potential deal that sends the Rangers the longterm solution to third base. My feeling is that the Rockies do not end up moving Arenado. Ownership is the last word and Colorado’s owners are not yet ready to concede a rebuild is necessary. Although the Rockies have been dormant this offseason. If Colorado were serious, I would pay more than Newburg and take on more salary. My proposal: Burke, Cole Winn, Leody Tevaras and Whatley for Arenado and about $30 million.
Ok, the fantasy is now over. Let’s play “Armchair GM Round 3”.
- BLOCKBUSTER ALERT: Rangers trade Brock Burke, Ronald Guzman, Hans Crouse, Jason Bahr, and Leody Taveras to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 1B Josh Bell, 3B Jose Osuna and CF Starling Marte. This fills three holes the Rangers need. Josh Bell and Osuna take over at the corners. CF is shored up with Marte and the lineup is balanced with three right-handed bats added.
- Sign C Robinson Chirinos
- DFA C Jeff Mathis or hire him as a roving catching instructor
Opening Day Lineup/Roster
- Choo DH
- Marte CF
- Gallo RF
- Bell 1B
- Calhoun LF
- Andrus SS
- Osuna 3B
- Odor 2B
- Trevino C
Solak, Santana, Chirinos, Heineman, Kiner-Falefa
Leclerc, B. Martin, J. Rodriguez, Chavez, D. Evans, Montero, Palumbo (Opener/Long Man)
Am I fired or hired?
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