12/04/09 12:00 AM EST
Texas has a few needs at forefront
Club may look for right-handed bat, utility infielder at Meetings
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Right-handed bat: The Rangers need a big hitter in the middle of the order. He could be an outfielder, designated hitter or occasional first baseman paired with Chris Davis. Among the possibilities are Vladimir Guerrero, Jermaine Dye, Troy Glaus, Gary Sheffield, Mike Cameron and Fernando Tatis.
Utility infielder: The Rangers lost Omar Vizquel, who signed with the White Sox, so they need a utility infielder. Being able to play shortstop is a prime asset to the resume. Bobby Crosby could be a fit for the Rangers. Others who could attract their interest include Jamey Carroll and Mark Loretta. Esteban German is the in-house candidate.Setup reliever: The Rangers are mulling the possibility of moving C.J. Wilson and/or Neftali Feliz into the rotation. If so, they will be in the market for relief help, particularly a power left-hander. Catcher: The Rangers were planning to go with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden behind the plate. But if Saltalamacchia is still having shoulder problems, it could force the Rangers to consider other options. Whom they can or need to trade: P Brandon McCarthy: He was 7-4 with a 4.62 ERA in 17 starts for the Rangers but has been plagued by injuries and could be on the outside looking in when it comes to the rotation. Texas could draw some interest in its rotation and McCarthy might be the one to move. OF Greg Golson and/or Brandon Boggs: Both were in Spring Training for the Rangers, but were passed up Craig Gentry and were not called up to the big leagues. Top prospects:
1B Justin Smoak, LHP Martin Perez, RHP Wilmer Font, LHP Kasey Kiker: The Rangers farm system is heavy on pitching and light on position players. They have young pitching that would be of interest to other teams if they were inclined to listen.Big contract they might unload:
Kevin Millwood: Millwood's name might come up. He is making $12 million in 2010 and the Rangers might try to see if they can turn that into multiple players. But they probably want to keep Millwood as the leader of their staff.Arbitration eligible for 2011: Frank Francisco, Wilson, Josh Hamilton, Scott Feldman, McCarthy, Dustin Nippert, Esteban German. Payroll summation: The Rangers shed $20 million from last year's payroll with the departure of Vicente Padilla, Frank Catalanotto and Hank Blalock. But it still does not look like they have an extravagant amount of money to play with in the free-agent market.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.