We're only a quarter the way through the season but with an improved defense and their usual offensive attack the Texas Rangers are 8 games over .500 for the first time since June 2005. At 22-14, they are leading the AL West, 3.5 games ahead of the Angels. They're currently on a 6 game win streak without the relief of Frank Francisco. And they've accomplished this without much help from Josh Hamilton.
Can they sustain this? What can they do to improve their chances? Should they wait it out and assess their needs at the deadline? Or go for broke and make whatever moves necessary to widen the gap with the Angels? What would you do in G.M. Jon Daniels' shoes?
- Sign Ben Sheets? Rangers pitchers are 17th in the majors with a 4.66 team ERA. Sheets has been sighted at The Ballpark in Arlington with Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux as recently as May 15. The Rangers are considered the favorites to land the ace who had flexor tendon elbow surgery on February 13th and hopes to begin a throwing program soon. Could he provide a valuable late season boost?
- Sign Pedro Martinez? Or stay with internal options such as Derek Holland or Neftali Feliz?
- Shop Kevin Millwood, who is in a contract year and needs 180 innings for a $12MM guaranteed salary for next season? Millwood is currently third in innings pitched with 58.1, behind only Roy Halladay and Zack Greinke. He's sporting a 2.93 ERA, their only starter with an ERA below 4.
- Shop Marlon Byrd? In 64 AB, Andruw Jones has a 1.035 OPS giving the Rangers four everyday outfielders. Byrd is in a contract year making $3.06MM this season. Could he be a valuable trade chip?
Are the Rangers legit? What should Jon Daniels do?