Inbox: How's Harrison doing?
Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers questions from fans
There are reports that Matt Harrison is hitting 95-97 mph in Arizona. Isn't that an improvement from his pre-injury days? What do you see his role being in 2010?
-- Lynn F., West Hollywood, Calif.
Harrison is regularly between 89-94 mph. More importantly, he is healthy again and his command was getting sharper at the end of the Arizona Fall League. He is a candidate for the Rangers' rotation in 2010.Here's the deal: The Rangers know that Kevin Millwood and Scott Feldman will be in the rotation. They have told Harrison, Brandon McCarthy, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Tommy Hunter, Doug Mathis, Dustin Nippert, Guillermo Moscoso and C.J. Wilson to all come to camp preparing to be in the starting rotation. Only three will make it, initially. Some of them will be in the bullpen. Some might start at Triple-A Oklahoma. Some, shockingly, might get hurt. Who knows? Maybe somebody will be included in a trade before then. But right now, they are all candidates for the rotation. Do you think the Rangers could take a shot at trading for Curtis Granderson? I wouldn't mind making the deal for David Murphy and Chris Davis.
-- Michael. S., Keller, Texas
You would probably have to include pitching in the deal. Granderson is an excellent player and an even better person. He is also signed for four more years at $29.25 million. Instead of giving up talent to get Granderson, if the Rangers could afford it, wouldn't it be better to re-sign Marlon Byrd and keep your own talent?What are the chances the Rangers target pitchers such as Josh Johnson or Matt Cain this offseason? Johnson has two years left before becoming a free agent, and it appears the Marlins will be shopping him.
-- Chris A., Rockwall, Texas
The Rangers have talked to the Marlins about pitching, but Johnson is not available. Texas likes some of Florida's other pitchers, but so far there isn't a match. The Marlins are looking for young pitching and are trying to get rid of expensive hitters such as Dan Uggla. The Rangers aren't interested there. Doubtful the Giants will move Cain. They have him signed for three more years at a quite reasonable contract and want to win now with the impressive starting rotation that they have.If the Rangers are looking for a power right-handed hitter, why not try Adrian Beltre? He's been hurt, but before last season, his numbers were pure power and driving in runs. I think he could be a nice fit with us, and it wouldn't crowd our outfield, plus he'd be a nice backup at third base for Michael Young.
-- Pablo G., Irving, Texas
Beltre would be a perfect fit, especially if he could play first base on occasion. He would also be an expensive fit. But Beltre is only 30. He's too young to accept a role as a designated hitter and will likely look for a job as a regular third baseman. Remember, he has won two Gold Gloves.What is the possibility of the Rangers putting together some sort of package like Murphy or Nelson Cruz, Max Ramirez, and maybe a Joaquin Arias or Moscoso for Edwin Jackson?
-- Christopher B., Arlington
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Here is what I bet it would take to get Jackson: reliever C.J. Wilson and either Cruz or Murphy. The Tigers need both an outfielder and bullpen help. If you ask them to give up one of their top three starters, that's what they will want in return.Do you think that we would have a chance to sign Brett Myers and/or J.J. Putz? What are your thoughts?
-- James T., Fresno, Texas
My preference would be to take a chance on Putz, who had elbow surgery in July but is expected to be 100 percent in Spring Training and has had proven success as a reliever in the American League. That would make it easier to move Feliz into the rotation.Myers is interesting as a starter, but my choice would be to see if one, Ben Sheets is healthy and, two, he is in the same ballpark financially as Myers. By the way, word is Sheets is 100 percent and will be ready for somebody's rotation in Spring Training. Yes, the Rangers are interested. How is Jarrod Saltalamacchia doing after his right shoulder surgery?
-- Lauren H., Amarillo, Texas
Saltalamacchia has been working out and doing his rehabilitation in Florida. He is expected to begin playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic this week, and that will give the Rangers a better idea where he stands as far as his recovery.Don't you think Byrd is quite similar to Gary Matthews, and Milton Bradley: very successful for one year at Texas but a promising mediocre player on other clubs?
-- Sky S., Brownwood, Texas
No. Byrd had an .808 OPS (on-base and slugging) for the Rangers in 2009. That was actually his lowest in three years in Texas. So he's not just a one-year wonder. Secondly, Mark DeRosa left the Rangers and has hit just as well or better in his three years away from Arlington.Say the Rangers do lose Byrd. Would they be interested in Rick Ankiel, who is in the prime of his career?
-- Adam D., Sherman, Texas
The Rangers have Hamilton, Murphy and Julio Borbon as left-handed-hitting outfielders. Ankiel hits from the left side. They are looking for a right-handed hitter.Do you think the Rangers might go after Johnny Damon?
-- Jervelt J., Garland, Texas
Why? He appears to be in the twilight of his career while Borbon is just getting started, and they appear to be quite similar players.When is Rangers FanFest?
-- Tammy R., Mineral Wells, Texas
It is Jan. 30 at the Ballpark in Arlington. The Sluggers of the West Dinner is the night before at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth.Could the Rangers tell/ask John Lackey and Sheets to wait until after the negotiations for sale of part or all of team are finished to make their final decision? Is there any rule or law they would be breaking to just tell them to wait: "We want you. But the money is not here, yet."
-- Kelly K., Garland, Texas
As Jerry Maguire once said, "Show me the money."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.