Hank Blalock will become a free agent after the season, and there's no guarantee that the Rangers will want him back. They paid Blalock $6.2MM this year, but they have uncertain payroll flexibility going forward and an abundance of talented position players.
Michael Young should combine with Chris Davis and Justin Smoak to man the corner infield positions. Josh Hamilton, Julio Borbon, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy give manager Ron Washington four outfielders for three positions. Marlon Byrd wants to stay in Texas and Andruw Jones could conceivably return, too.
If Blalock hits the market, as expected, he won't be a ranked free agent, so teams won't have to hand over a draft pick to sign him. He can play either corner infield position; the 28-year-old was sharp in about 550 innings at first this year, according to UZR, but played just one game at the hot corner.
But Blalock has made his name at the plate ever since he broke in with a 29 homer season as a 22-year-old. He hit 19 homers in the first half this year, putting up an .854 OPS. Since the break, he's managed just six long balls and his second-half OPS is only .590.
The late summer slump will hurt Blalock this offseason, but some teams should still have interest. The Angels, Mariners, Twins, Orioles and Cardinals could all have openings at third this offseason; the Mets and Braves will need to sign first basemen and the Jays and White Sox are among the teams that could be looking for a DH.