Construction Fun: Dreaming The 2013 Rangers Roster

This marks my first offseason post here on Shutdown Inning, and it begins with guessing the Rangers roster in 2013, the chic thing to do in the offseason. Evan Grant has done it, and Jamey Newberg too. I enjoyed reviewing each of their offerings, but didn’t fully connect with either one, so I decided to create one of my own.
At first I began by trying to make some very safe choices with what the roster would look like next year. I called that my “realistic” view. Upon reviewing it further, I realized I was just guessing at what I thought would actually happen, instead of trying to really act as if I could be the one making the decisions, what I would do. And since this is a meaningless exercise with almost no chance of coming true, I chose for the final product to look how I want, not how I would guess it will actually look.

Without further ado:

Free agent signings

Melky Cabrera – I want the record to show that I am a big fan of the idea of signing Cabrera this offseason. I realize he hasn’t played baseball since being suspended for 50 games for testosterone. I think that should drive his market price down, and present a good opportunity to buy low. I don’t expect him to produce at his 2012 levels (.346/.390/.516), but playing some center field and left field here while achieving his 2011 production (.305/.339/.470) seems doable. I suspect Cabrera will end up taking a one-year deal this offseason to re-establish his value, and there is really no risk in a one-year deal.

Koji Uehara – Except for about one month of his time with the Rangers, Uehara has had an astoundingly dominant career. I want him back. It’s very simple. Just look at the all-time leaderboard in K/BB ratio.

Ryan Madson – Madson had reconstructive elbow surgery that completely wiped out his 2012 season. He is another possible question mark that I believe could be a good buy low situation. If his health checks out okay, he’d be an excellent candidate to replace Mike Adams, who I expect will get paid quite handsomely somewhere else.

Maicer Izturis – Because someone needs to be the backup shortstop and second baseman, and not Michael Young.

Trades

Giancarlo Stanton, acquired from the Miami Marlins for Matt Harrison, Nelson Cruz, and Mike Olt – The Marlins are doing a very Marlins thing and clearing house. If Stanton is available, he would be a great fit for the Rangers. His bat would help replace Josh Hamilton’s in the lineup, and he will still be just 23 years old next year. I think trading Harrison this offseason is great timing, considering it’s very likely he’ll never have another year as good as 2012.

David Price, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays for Elvis Andrus, Wilmer Font, and Michael Kirkman – Realistically, I don’t think Andrus gets traded. Ideally, though, I think the Rangers can make themselves a better team if he is. Tampa Bay is rumored to be hesitant about keeping Price in 2013, because it would mean a $7 million jump in his price tag due to arbitration. I could salivate at the thought of Darvish and Price leading the Rangers rotation for at least the next three seasons, with the Jurickson Profar era beginning behind them. I would miss Elvis badly, though.

Matt Garza, acquired from the Chicago Cubs for Justin Grimm, Leury Garcia, and Julio Borbon – The Rangers were rumored to be interested in Garza when he was traded to the Cubs. Now, with just one year of arbitration left, they may be able to get him for 2013 without a significant cost. He’ll be returning from injury as well, and the Cubs are still in the midst of their rebuilding program.

Tim Collins, acquired from the Kansas City Royals for Rougned Odor – Collins is one year away from reaching arbitration, and is the kind of lefthander out of the bullpen that would be an excellent complement to Robbie Ross.

Opening Day roster

Starting rotation:
Yu Darvish
David Price
Matt Garza
Derek Holland
Martin Perez

Bullpen:
Joe Nathan
Ryan Madson
Koji Uehara
Alexi Ogando
Tim Collins
Tanner Scheppers
Robbie Ross

Catchers:
Mike Napoli
Geovany Soto

Infielders:
Mitch Moreland
Ian Kinsler
Jurickson Profar
Adrian Beltre
Michael Young
Maicer Izturis

Outfielders:
Melky Cabrera
Giancarlo Stanton
David Murphy
Craig Gentry
Leonys Martin

Disabled List:
Colby Lewis (returning to starting rotation mid-season)
Neftali Feliz (returning to bullpen mid-season)

Lineup:
2B Kinsler
LF Cabrera
3B Beltre
RF Stanton
DH Murphy
C Napoli
1B Moreland (Young vs. LHP)
SS Profar
CF Martin (Gentry vs. RHP)

There you have it. If you are racing to point out what is wrong with it, that’s fine, I can find plenty myself. I’d still love to hear your feedback. It’s the offseason, what else do we have to occupy our time but inane debates over 25 guys who may or may not be on a roster five months from now?

Directionally speaking, though, these are the kinds of moves I hope the Rangers make this offseason.

Peter Ellwood is a Senior Staff Writer for Shutdown Inning. You can email him at Peter.Ellwood@shutdowninning.com or reach him on Twitter @FutureGM

Peter Ellwood

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