Texas Rangers fans have had their hearts broken for the past few years. After being a team of little to no success for many years, the Rangers have now entered the territory of high expectations. They made back to back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011, but lost both. They failed to make the return trip this past season and currently sit at 51-37 in 2013, good for second place in the AL West.
You can credit the Rangers’ success this year to a dominant 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation of Yu Darvish and Derek Holland, a lights-out closer in Joe Nathan and the hot bats of Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz. But still, if the playoffs started today, they would be in the one-game wild card matchup, so they could still use some help at the trade deadline.
Some might think they could use another bat, but there is one arm in the starting rotation that they would welcome back with open arms, and that is Cliff Lee.
After Darvish and Holland, who starts game three of a playoff series? Alexi Ogando, Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz are all injured. Lee would give them that third arm that would give them enough rotation depth to make another run at a ring.
Lee is 10-2 with a 2.73 ERA this year, and the Philadelphia Phillies are dangerously close to becoming sellers at the trade deadline. It would take a lot to get Lee back to Texas, but if the Rangers are willing to part with a couple of top prospects, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. would not hesitate to pull the trigger.
Lee could very well be the key to a Rangers’ World Series run. He has a 7-3 career record with a 2.52 ERA in the postseason, including a 3-2 record with the Rangers in 2010. Lee is hungry to get back to the World Series after being there in 2009 and 2010, so a reunion with the Rangers would be the perfect fit for all parties involved.