They watched as Josh Hamilton, the former face of their franchise, signed with their divisional rivals. They waited to see if the market for a starting pitcher would level off, only to see Zack Greinke go to the Los Angeles Dodgers. They saw the Seattle Mariners make moves for a pair of sluggers in an attempt to climb their way up the AL West, and they tried to make a pitch to land Justin Upton, only to see him united with his brother in the Atlanta Braves.
The Texas Rangers have been waiting all off-season to make a splash, and though GM Jon Daniels have said that the lineup is essentially set for the 2013, you’d have to think that they’re not simply going to stand still as their divisional rivals have all gotten better.
The Rangers may not have to wait for very much longer, not as long as a disgruntled Giancarlo Stanton is getting ever closer to having to report to Spring Training with the Miami Marlins.
I’m not the first to suggest that the Rangers ought to make a move for the 23-year old slugger, and certainly won’t be the last. Rumors linking the two parties surfaced back in December, with MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro suggesting that the Rangers consider parting with top prospects Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt in a package to try to pry away the Marlins’ star.
Despite adding Lance Berkman as the team’s DH since then, the Rangers outfield remains a glaring hole on what is otherwise a very talented team. David Murphy is a good all-around player who can do a little bit of everything, but have never exhibited the kind of game-changing power that the team had in Hamilton. Craig Gentry has never played a full season at the majors, and has but singles-power and speed to offer on offense. Nelson Cruz has the talent to be a perennial all-star, but he doesn’t draw enough walks to bat third or cleanup, and has only been healthy enough to play one full season in his career so far.
Finally healthy after playing through most of 2012 with bum knee, Stanton would not only add 40+ homers to the Texas offense, but would give the team a new offensive cornerstone to build upon going forward.
Yes, the price will be steep. Stanton isn’t a complementary piece, and it will likely take at least Profar, Olt, and a pitcher to make it happen, but with the likes of Martin Perez and Alexi Ogando getting looks for the 5th spot in what’s a 6-man staff right now (and Neftali Feliz looming off Tommy John surgery), the Rangers have starting pitching depth to spare, even if they lack a true shutdown ace.
We’ve seen how quickly a market like this can develop over the last couple of weeks in Arizona, and with the team having recently come up short in the Justin Upton sweepstakes, targeting Stanton makes more sense now then ever.