There are several questions that need to be answered for the Texas Rangers this winter before spring training arrives in February. There's the obvious glaring ones, such as what happens to Josh Hamilton and how do you replace him, and the foggier ones like what happens with Ian Kinsler, whether he's traded or moves positions.
Evan Grant, the longtime Rangers beat writer for The Dallas Morning News hashed out his best guess on Sunday at what the 2013 Rangers' 25-man roster could look like.
It looks something like this:
*denotes acquisition by trade; ^denotes free agent acquisition
Starting rotation: Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Zack Greinke^, Ricky Romero*, Derek Holland
Bullpen: Joe Nathan, Mike Adams, Alexi Ogando, Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Ross, Michael Kirkman
Catchers: J.P. Arencibia* or Carlos Santana*, Kelly Shoppach^
Infielders: 1B Mitch Moreland, 2B-SS Jurickson Profar, SS Elvis Andrus, 3B Adrian Beltre, INF Michael Young, INF Ryan Theriot^
Outfielders: RF Nick Swisher^, CF Leonys Martin, CF Craig Gentry, LF Nelson Cruz, OF David Murphy
Here's Grant's prospective lineup:
1. Andrus, 2. Young, 3. Swisher, 4. Beltre, 5. Cruz, 6. Moreland, 7. Arencibia or Santana, 8. Gentry or Martin, 9. Profar
Obviously, this is a less powerful lineup than Rangers fans have grown accustomed to, with Hamilton, Kinsler and Napoli no longer in it. The pitching staff is very solid and the lineup has a ton of speed with Andrus, Gentry/Martin and Profar with a healthy amount of power.
The only thing that doesn't make much sense is Grant's six-man bullpen, which doesn't allow for much flexibility and the fact that Ryan Theriot is basically the same player Young is from a utility perspective, anyway.