Baseball’s Winter Meetings commence today in Nashville, and the Rangers will be certainly involved in attempting to improve a team that last year surprised with 88 wins, an AL West championship and a thrilling five-game series with the Blue Jays in the ALDS.
But Texas’ moves should be ripples, rather than big splashes.
The Rangers already have two aces in Cole Hamels and the healthy return of Yu Darvish. They’ve got a solid closer. Power hitting. And the return of Jurickson Profar adds more spice to a productive lineup. Throw in a healthy Josh Hamilton for a full season and it’s not difficult to envision 90 wins and another year of October baseball.
The possible moves?
I still think the Rangers need an upgrade behind the plate. Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez are serviceable, but there are better possibly available. Such as in Milwaukee, where the Brewers are in full rebuilding mode with an asset in Jonathan Lucroy.
The likeliest Ranger to be dealt is Mitch Moreland, potentially to the Pirates. Pittsburgh passed on Pedro Alvarez last week, leaving it with a need for a left-handed hitting 1st baseman. Moreland’s departure would create room for Mike Napoli to stay put in Arlington.
I know that’s not the sexy Hot Stove talk fans desire, but the Rangers don’t have big holes. They do, however, have some big salaries and would likely listen to offers for players such as Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus. But them moving isn’t a priority.
Bottom line: Be happy if the Rangers hit a couple singles at the Winter Meetings. Because a home run is unlikely.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.