It's hard to gauge what the Texas Rangers will look to do this offseason. There are reports that they are interested in acquiring outfielder Milton Bradley from the Cubs, who would likely eat a large chunk of the $21MM owed to him over the next two years of his contract. At the same time, they may not have the cash necessary to retain Marlon Byrd, who has posted .283/.328/.483 with a career-high 20 HRs. Buster Olney and the Baseball Prospectus staff break down the season that was for the Rangers and what they can expect going forward. An ESPN Insider subscription is required to read the article, but here are the nuts and bolts of it:
- Signing John Lackey, widely regarded as this offseason's top free agent starter, would certainly bolster their rotation. However, Buster Olney says that GM Jon Daniels could be handcuffed financially by the impending change in ownership.
- Olney also theorizes that Daniels may not be able to roll the dice on the problematic Bradley, for fear of a public relations backlash under a new regime.
- The ownership situation is murkier than most, as anywhere between four and six groups are in contention to purchase the club. One group is led by team president Nolan Ryan, whose involvement is largely considered productive.
- The aforementioned Byrd earned $3MM in 2009, the final year of his contract. Re-signing him might require a two or three-year commitment at triple the price.
- Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus says that the Rangers have a good amount of pitching talent, but feels that they must live up to their potential. Rookies Derek Holland (ERAs of 5.77 in August and 10.20 in September) and Neftali Feliz have run out of gas down the stretch, but have shown tons of upside. If the Rangers feel confident in Matt Harrison and oft-injured Brandon McCarthy, they might not have to spend on a high-priced arm this winter to complement Kevin Millwood.