Back To The Future

With news of the Cruz suspension being handed down on Monday, now is as good of a time as any to look at what the Rangers’ future will look like 2013 and beyond.

40 man roster (2014 salary figures)

Catcher (3):
A.J. Pierzynski (FA), Geovany Soto (FA) and Robinson Chirinos (Arb. Eligible ’15)

FA Targets: Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Carlos Ruiz and Dioner Navarro

First Base (2):  Mitch Moreland (1st  yr Arb., $1.7M est.) and Chris McGuiness (Arb. Eligible ’16)

FA Targets:  Mike Napoli, Kevin Youkilis, Kendrys Morales and Mike

Second Base (1): Ian Kinsler ($16M)

Shortstop (3): Elvis Andrus ($6.47M), Jurickson Profar (Arb. Eligible ’16) and Leury Garcia (Arb. Eligbile ’16)

Third Base (1): Adrian Beltre ($17M)

Outfield (8): Nelson Cruz (FA), David Murphy (FA), Jeff Baker (FA), Leonys Martin ($3.75M),  Craig Gentry (1st  yr Arb., $1.7M est.), Engel Beltre (Arb. Eligible ’16), Joey Butler (Arb.  Eligible ’16) and Joe Benson (Arb. Eligible ’16)

FA Targets: Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Curtis Granderson,  Hunter Pence and Nate McClouth

Pitchers (25): Yu Darvish ($10M), Derek Holland ($5.4M), Matt Harrison ($8.2M), Matt Garza (FA), Colby Lewis (FA), Joakim Soria ($5.5M), Neftali Feliz (2nd  yr Arb. $2.7M est.), Martin Perez (2nd year pre-arb, 500K est.), Cory Burns (2nd  yr pre-arb, 500K est.), Neal Cotts (Arb. Eligible), Wilmer Font (Arb. Eligible  ’16), Jason Frasor (FA), Michael Kirkman (3rd yr pre-arb, 500K est.), Josh Lindblom (3rd  yr pre-arb, 500K est.), Roman Mendez (Arb. Eligible ’16), Justin Miller (Arb. Eligible ’16), Joe Nathan ($9M Team Option), Alexi Ogando (1st yr Arb., $1.7M est.), Joseph Ortiz (Arb. Eligible ’16), Neil Ramirez (Arb. Eligible ’16), Robbie Ross (3rd yr pre-arb, 500K est.), Tanner Scheppers (2nd  yr pre-arb, 500K est.), Nick Tepesch (Arb. Eligible ’16), Matt West (Arb.  Eligible ’16) and Ross Wolf (Arb. Eligible ’16).

Targets: Hiroki Kuroda, Ervin Santana, A.J. Burnett, Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit and Koji Uehara.

2013  Payroll: $134M

Est. 2014 Opening Day Payroll (w/options): $108.1M

If the Rangers decide to hang onto Joe Nathan, their offseason budget will be about
$25M. It’s easy to foresee the team trading Nathan and the $9M he is owed which
would bring back an outfielder under contract or save the team money and put the
committed dollars heading into free agency under $100M. Looking at these payroll
figures, it is nice to sit back and admire this fiscally responsible 40-man roster. It is a far different story in Anaheim, New York or Boston.

2014 Opening Day Lineup
2014 Potential Lineup
Martin – CF
Kinsler – 2B
Beltre – 3B
Stanton – RF
Napoli – DH
Moreland – 1B
Andrus – SS
Ruiz – C
McClouth – LF
Notes: The Rangers trade Profar, Perez and others for Stanton in the offseason. Napoli comes back on a 3/30M deal after only making $5M in 2013. His days as a catcher are long gone, but he still capable of playing 1B (majority of 2013 at position)
and allows Texas to trade Moreland if they care to do so. Carlos Ruiz would be a
buy-low candidate that could be had on a one-year deal less than $5M. Nate
McClouth would be a smaller, faster version of David Murphy. They are the same
age, yet both players would be coming off drastically different season. Murphy
has not performed well in a contract season while McClouth has 25 SBs while
providing one more XBH than Murph.
2014 Starting Rotation
Darvish – RHP
Holland – LHP
Harrison – LHP
Ogando – RHP
Tepesch – RHP
Potential 2014 Rotation
Darvish – RHP
Holland – LHP
Garza – RHP
Harrison – LHP
Tepesch – RHP
Notes: I hesitate to place Garza in a dream rotation because the Rangers have NEVER had much success signing free agent pitchers, but here is hoping that Garza enjoys playing for a contender and Texas pays him like a 2 or 3. Considering his injury history, 4/$60M is a solid deal with a team option for a fifth year at $15M with a $5M buyout.

2014 Bullpen
Soria – CL

Notes:  Nathan is either traded or declined the team option in order for the Rangers to sign Napoli and Garza. As you can see, the current 40-man roster has no shortage of bullpen arms.

Additions: Napoli ($10M/yr), Garza ($15M/yr), Stanton (1yr Arb. Eligible, $8M est.) Ruiz ($4M) and McClouth ($5M).

Those additions increase the payroll by $41.5M, but the subtraction of Nathan’s contract helps soften the blow. The 2014 Texas Rangers estimated payroll before filling out the bench, $131.6M.

What do you think of the additions/subtractions?

Who would you like to add to this team?

Eddie Middlebrook is the co-host of “Chin Music” and VP of Media for ShutDowninning.
He can be reached at or on Twitter @emiddlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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