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Rangers still want a bat, Vladdy not yet in the mix

Jan 22, 2011, 7:30 PM EDT

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Having struck out on Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez, the Rangers are still seeking a bat to add to their lineup mix. They don’t want to add a full-timer and push Mitch Moreland out of the lineup, but a complement to provide insurance in case Moreland struggles is a possibility.

Right now, the Rangers are looking at the following lineup:

SS Elvis Andrus
DH Michael Young
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
2B Ian Kinsler
1B Mitch Moreland
C Yorvit Torrealba
CF Julio Borbon

David Murphy and Matt Treanor are guaranteed two spots on the bench. Another will go to a backup middle infielder, probably Andres Blanco. That leaves one opening.

Ideally, that opening would go to a right-handed hitter, assuming that the Rangers do want to stick with Moreland. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a first baseman, since Young could play there when Moreland sits against tough lefties or maybe all lefties. But it should be a righty, particularly since the team’s other strong bat off the bench is a lefty.

The obvious solution for the Rangers would seem to be Troy Glaus. The other available first basemen (Russell Branyan, Casey Kotchman, Nick Johnson, Carlos Delgado) are all lefties. Vladimir Guerrero wants and deserves to be a regular. Glaus probably would like that, too, but there don’t seem to be any possibilities for him out there right now.

If not Glaus, then Willy Aybar is the next best bet. He’s a switch-hitter, but he has a 785 career OPS against lefties, compared to a 712 mark against righties. He’s coming off a rough year and should be available cheap.

Jose Guillen, Lastings Milledge and Andy LaRoche are some of the other righty swingers still out there.

One last possibility if the Rangers really wanted to swing for the fences: Milton Bradley. The Mariners have to be especially eager to get rid of him after his arrest this week, and he did lead the AL in OPS while with the Rangers in 2008. I doubt the Rangers would take him back on now, but if could recapture a little of that magic from three years ago, he’d be a big asset.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jan 23, 2011 at 7:57 AM

    The Jays would be happy to trade Rivera and could absorb part of his salary. How about it Rangers?

  2. jetersusedjersey - Jan 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    I doubt the Rangers would want Rivera but they would take him anyday over Bradley. Bradley is a head ache. Troy Glaus makes the most sense as he can be had on a minor league contract.

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Jan 23, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Glaus makes plenty of sense because he can still (technically) play defense at either infield corner and could–if his shoulder can handle it–play some LF in a pinch. In small doses, he could be a real good addition to a team’s bench.

  4. marinermousse - Jan 23, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Matthew…you say “swing for the fences” as though Milton Bradley could be a home run?? I think it would be an ERROR. I certainly would not want you to be GM if I owned the Rangers. Why would you take a team that is coming off a World Series appearance and seems destined to be highly competitive in a weak division for a long time with its overpowering offense and RISK the possible disruption of all of that by taking on a player who has demonstrated repeatedly (on and off the field) that there is no rehabilitation possible? The Mariners sent him out for a long (hopefully last) attempt at controlling his anger issues and it has clearly failed. The man has had 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and now 6 “public” confrontations. Aside from all of that, he clearly was a liability in the field and looked clueless at the plate last year (and for a good part of the year before.)

    The Rangers would be infinitely better standing pat or picking any “piece” off the pile who could provide the insurance and bench flexibility they might be looking for than trying to hit your “home run.”

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jan 23, 2011 at 8:41 PM

      Can you show me where in the piece I recommended bringing in Bradley? I simply presented it as an unlikely option.

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