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The terrible, then great, then terrible Texas Rangers will be looking for more consistancy in 2009. One thing they had, though, was consistancy bad starting pitching. This team has no starting rotation at all, yet have an outstanding offense. They are the classic Texas Rangers. This team need to resign Milton Bradley, their only key free agent. If they want to compete, they need to protect Josh Hamilton, and Bradley is a perfect cleanup hitter. The other thing they need to do is get pitching. This team does have many trade chips as well as three great power arms in the minors in Naftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Michael Main. They have a huge catcher surplus. The Rangers have four starting catchers, all big league ready. They need to decide which one or two of Gerald Laird, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, and Max Ramirez they should keep, and which ones they should move. Many people think Laird and another will be traded, probably Salty. I have said before that Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Michael Bowden would make sense. I still believe that. Gerald Laird to the Reds for Bronson Arroyo and cash makes a lot of sense as well if the Reds don’t sign Jason Varitek. Elvis Andrus and Engel Beltre could also be moved in the right deal. It is possible that the Blue Jays would make Roy Halladay avalable, or the Padres with Jake Peavy. If they are, I’m sure the Rangers would be at the top of the list. With all the young talent they have to trade and the need for an ace, it just makes a lot of sense. Also, I think they are an interesting dark horse for CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets. It is very likely that the Rangers trade at least one catcher and aquire at least one pitcher in the offseason. This is a team that could be competing by ’09. If not, then by ’10. They have a very bright future.
I thought of a trade between the Rangers and Red Sox. Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Michael Bowden. The Rangers are in dire need of pitching help with a negative VORP. They are almost definatley going to trade a catcher this offseason, maybe two. They have four quality catchers in Salty, Max Ramirez, Gerald Laird, and Taylor Teagarden. It is in the order of value. The Rangers would like to add a pitcher, but most of the teams looking for a catcher don’t have a pitching prospect they can spare better than Bowden. If the Marlins offered Ryan Tucker, that would be close to chose from. If the Reds offered Homer Baily it would be done in a second. The Rangers would probably want a major league ready pitcher, because in the lower minors they have three stud pitching prospects in Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Blake Beavan. Them, combinded with Eric Hurley are the Rangers future. The Rangers could make a trade like this, or they could combine Salty with others to land a proven pitcher via trade. The only problem is, that pitcher isn’t out there unless the Blue Jays decide to shop Roy Halladay, which isn’t likely. All in all, I think it would be smart for the Rangers to trade one catcher for a pitching prospect like Bowden, then next offseason make there big splash when the stud trio of prospects will be ready.