The Texas Rangers rotation for the quickly approaching 2013 season is good but not great. With a good mixture of guys who I consider valid number two starters like Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland, and also guys with good potential like Alexi Ogando. They have the talent to be an above average rotation but in a playoff type situation you need an ace that you can trust to give you seven+ innings and will win you that game. The Rangers just don’t have one.
Darvish could become a valid ace but he doesn’t have that control yet. Harrison has been an incredibly underrated lefty but he isn’t an ace. Same with Holland and Colby Lewis, they just aren’t there. The Rangers do have some top of the line prospects like Jurickson Profar (rated number one by mlb.com) and Mike Olt (number twenty two) after them though, the prospects fall off a little. The next guy on the list is Luis Sardinas who is projected to be a little bit above average as a major league shortstop in a few years. After Olt and Profar the Rangers would need to start packing a few of their top prospects for a viable big league pitcher.
The Rangers shouldn’t want to trade Olt or Profar just because of how close they are and the fact that there will most likely be room for them in the next year or two. But they could realistically package together a group of maybe guys like Sardinas, Jorge Alfaro and Joey Gallo to go out and get maybe a good number two starter or a lower level number one. Maybe a good number two like Doug Fister from the Detroit Tigers who will need a shortstop and catcher in the next few years being that Jhonny Peralta is not very good and Alex Avila is going to need someone to back him up. Or maybe go out and try to get a Jarrod Parker or Tommy Milone from the Oakland Athletics. Thats a little more unrealistic because in-division trades don’t happen that often but we just saw the Athletics and Houston Astros make a trade involving Jed Lowrlie last week so you never know.
I have thought for a while that the Rangers should boost their rotation with a top tier number two or a number one, but now even more so since Lewis is likely out for half of the season. A guy like Fister or Parker could be a huge addition for the Rangers.