The Fallout: Ripples From The Fielder Trade

Fielder
The takeaway, for the 2014 season anyway, is that Texas just alleviated their middle infield logjam by trading away the oldest of the three while adding Prince Fielder for a net cost of roughly $8 million. But what else does this trade mean?
Will the Rangers still pursue Brian McCann?

There are reports that indicate that the deal will not keep the Rangers from continuing to pursue big name free agents like McCann. However, with Prince Fielder under contract for the next 7 years, it is probably safe to assume that the starts McCann would have had available at 1B/DH would be limited. Could McCann make the transition to 1B at the same time that Jorge Alfaro takes over the catching duties and Prince Fielder is ready to assume a full-time DH role? That certainly seems like too many moving parts to invest the kind of dollars McCann will likely command, but it isn’t completely out of the question.

What happens to Mitch Moreland?

Right now the bench consists of Adam Rosales, a backup catcher and a fourth OF. Moreland could conceivably occupy the fourth spot on the bench, even if carrying a 1B in that spot (usually reserved for a guy who can play all corner positions) is not ideal. Just my opinion, but I think it’s fair to speculate whether Mitch Moreland will be wearing a different jersey next year.

Where do the Rangers shift their offseason focus now?

That’s anybody’s guess. If they choose not to sign a DH (not a lot of clear candidates outside of Nelson Cruz available), are there enough at bats at DH for McCann and Fielder to get some time at both DH and 1B? Does a guy like Corey Hart, who can play corner OF but would also need time at 1B still make sense? Maybe if the Rangers don’t sign a full-time DH. One takeaway from this trade might be that Nelson Cruz might make even more sense for the Rangers now.

What does this mean for Jurickson Profar?

It means he can show up every day confident in knowing where he’ll be on the field. It has been a long time, but I remember experiencing first-hand how playing a position I wasn’t comfortable with affected my overall confidence, which showed during my plate appearances. Jurickson Profar is a winning piece, and a full-time role is the best way of giving this kid a fair shot to be successful and be himself on the diamond.

Who hits in the lead off spot?

This is very much up in the air. If Elvis Andrus gets the nod, who bats second? Is Leonys Martin ready to assume the lead off role? If we know Ron Washington at all, he’ll be tempted to roll with Andrus, but it will certainly be interesting to see who the first two batters in this lineup are before a pitcher faces Beltre, Fielder, Rios in the heart of this Ranger order.

Robert Pike is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Robert.Pike@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @Bob_Pike.
Robert Pike

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