Blazing Stove

The baseball off-season is a time for most fans to head on over to the NFL, NBA, or other winter activities, but for the die-hard baseball fan the winter is best spent studying and observing the Hot Stove Reports. The rumor mill is a very active spin machine and at times becomes as gossipy as a high school cafeteria, but the excitement of tracking free agents to your favorite team is sometimes overwhelming.
One of the leading sources for following the rumor mill are the guys over athttp://www.mlbtraderumors.com/www.mlbtraderumors.com%20and they do an outstanding job following all of the beat and national writers and even team execs during the free agent frenzy. I thought it would be fun to go back and track each rumor associated with the Rangers since the day after their season ended on October 5th and pretend that the rumor came true. What would the Rangers roster look like if these “sources” were all correct? Using the Rangers feed on the mlbtraderumors.comwebsite here is the 2013 Texas Rangers lineup and roster:

Catcher– Brian McCann (his option was exercised by Braves and traded to Rangers, but unknown for whom). His backup is unknown.

First Baseman– Adam Laroche, Mitch Moreland, Michael Young, Nick Swisher

Second Base– Jurickson Profar

Shortstop- Michael Young (Andrus was traded to Tampa for James Shields)

Third– Adrian Beltre

Left Field Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, and David Murphy (Upton was traded to Texas three different times with Texas giving up Mike Olt and a U-Haul full of prospects)

Centerfield- Jacoby Ellsbury, Craig Gentry, Leonys Martin (Ellsbury came over to TEX in the Derek Holland trade)

Right Field– Nick Swisher, Nelson Cruz, David Murphy

DH– Michael Young,

Starting Rotation:

SP- Zach Greinke

SP- Yu Darvish

SP- James Shields

SP- Matt Harrison

SP- Alexi Ogando

**Colby Lewis returns possibly in July

Bullpen:

RP: Koji Uehara (re-signed)

RP: Joakim Soria

RP: Robbie Ross

RP: Scheppers/Kirkman/Font

CL: Joe Nathan

**Feliz returning possibly in July

Assuming all of this happened, the Rangers might have had the busiest off-season in MLB history.  It goes without saying that some of the players will be traded away if they bring in a newer, shinier piece (Moreland, Kinsler, Murphy, etc), but my point wasn’t to guess this roster. When the dust settles on the Ballpark in Arlington, Jon Daniels will have signed 5 FA’s, traded for 3 perennial All-Stars and was forced to bring Michael Young back to SS in the final year of his contract and possibly his career. The team’s payroll will probably be in the neighborhood of 200-220 MM for 2013 with glaring holes in the bullpen and shortstop.

This was obviously just for fun and doesn’t have any hidden agenda on free agent signings or trades, but it can serve as a cautionary piece to the TMZ like fashion of following free agency. The Texas Rangers historically have not been linked to all free agents in their past like they are now, so a lot of the rumors get magnified here more than other cities. Just enjoy the daily whispers and opinions of beat writers, but as always trust JD, his staff, and their vision for this team.

Jeff Johnson is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. He can be reached at Jeff.Johnson@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter @Houstonhog.

Jeff Johnson

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