Results tagged ‘ Texas Rangers ’
After dropping Game 7 of the 2011 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals by a 6-2 mark on Friday night, the Texas Rangers must now try to forget their postseason miscues and focus on a promising offseason.
Truthfully, there aren’t many holes hampering Ron Washington’s club moving forward. However, rumor has it that they may be in the mix for signing formerMilwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder—a move that would almost certainly put the club over the top in 2012. Its a bold task to pursue, especially with the incredible competition vying for Fielder’s services this offseason. However, if they are truly intent on returning to the Fall Classic next year and beyond, they must resort to acquiring the hefty vegetarian.
Here are three concise reasons the Rangers will succeed in signing Fielder this winter.
Supply and Demand
At their very best, the Rangers were an offensive juggernaut in 2011.
Stacked up against MLB teams, Texas ranked second in home runs (210) and SLG (.460), third in RBI (807), as well as second in extra-base hits (552) in the regular season. If there’s one thing Ron Washington’s crew knows how to do best, it’s hitting the baseball with authority.
However, they were insufficient in their postseason efforts, especially in the World Series. The Cardinals simply outperformed Texas, particularly in the clutch. Signing Fielder this winter to either become their designated hitter or platoon with Michael Young at first base would add unquestionable power to their lineup, thus putting them over the hump in 2012.
They Can Probably Afford Him
Despite having MLB’s 13th-highest payroll last season at just over $92 million, the Rangers were able to reach the World Series for the second straight year.
With a number of contracts ready to come off the books this offseason, there’s no disputing that the Rangers have enough money to sign Fielder to a long-term deal. C.J. Wilson’s lofty $7 million 2011 salary will no longer have to be fulfilled, giving GM Jon Daniels a reasonable amount of payroll to work with this winter.
Nolan Ryan Won’t Let the Opportunity Slip Away
With Albert Pujols likely to wind up re-signing with the Cardinals this offseason, the Rangers’ free-agent options have now waned significantly.
There are a handful of bats Texas could pursue this winter, but with Texas already having such a balanced lineup, Nolan Ryan will be intent on increasing payroll to bring in an MVP-caliber talent such as Fielder.
Here’s a potential outlook at what Texas’ Opening Day starting lineup could look like with Fielder in the mix:
1. Ian Kinsler 2B
2. Elvis Andrus SS
3. Josh Hamilton CF
4. Prince Fielder DH
5. Nelson Cruz RF
6. Michael Young 1B
7. Adrian Beltre 3B
8. Mike Napoli C
9. Endy Chavez LF
Follow Alec Dopp on Twitter: @alecdopp.
The saga that is the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2011-2012 offseason has yet to officially begin, yet there have been no shortage of rumors and speculation surrounding the reigning NL Central champions as they embark on the post-Prince Fielder era.
Among the many personnel decisions and player arbitration disputes ready to rear their ugly heads toward GM Doug Melvin is, as we’ve already alluded to, whether or not the club has enough dough to bring back their luminary veggie-consuming first baseman. Fielder, who amassed nothing short of MVP-caliber numbers in each of the last six seasons with the club, is set to become an unrestricted free agent in just a few short weeks, and will likely set the market for some of the top free-agents available this winter.
While many Brewers fans have become aware of the fact that their slugging first baseman will in fact not be back with the club in 2012 and the foreseeable future, there are in fact other topics up for discussion regarding what their beloved hometown teams intends on accomplishing this offseason.
One such topic will be whether or not Melvin intends on bringing in more pitching, particularly starting pitching, with Fielder’s massive contract coming off the books this offseason.
Fetching Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum via trade last winter drastically improved Milwaukee’s output on the mound from previous years. In 2010, the Brewers ranked 26th in MLB with a team 4.58 ERA and settled for just 75 quality starts from their starters. The presence of the two newly-acquired starters improved the rotation twofold.
For one, Milwaukee finished the 2011 regular season with MLB’s ninth-best team ERA (3.63), and would amass 98 quality starts — a healthy 23 more than the previous year. Moreover, it would also guarantee at least one more season of Greinke and Marcum, as they’re both under contract through 2012.
Still, the Brewers fell short of their goal of reaching the World Series, largely due to the staff’s ineffective postseason performances. Of the eight playoff teams, Milwaukee ranked second to last in team ERA (5.81) and would allow opponents to bat .294 — by far and away the highest BAA of any postseason starting rotation, which begs the question: should Melvin be in the works for acquiring a big-name free agent starter this winter?
According to Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that could very well be the case, reporting how the Brewers will be among the leading contenders for Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson this winter.
“Baseball writer Buster Olney puts the Brewers in the contenders’ group for Wilson.”
In 2011, Wilson led all Ranger pitchers in wins (16), ERA (2.94) and strikeouts (206), and will be one of the most coveted free-agent starters roaming the market this offseason.
If Milwaukee does in fact intend on pursuing the outspoken southpaw, they’ll likely need to surrender a large chunk of change to do so. Making $7 Million in 2011, Wilson made more than any Brewer starter last season, excluding Zack Greinke. Granted, his four postseason outings were nothing to write home about — going 0-3 with a 6.57 ERA, 22 SO, and 17 BB in just 24.2 IP — however he will nonetheless be a household name among baseball GMs, regardless.
It may not be imperative for Milwaukee to acquire and sign the 30-year-old Wilson to a brand-new contract this winter, but it could certainly be an opportunity worth exploring.