Inbox: Who could Rangers target in offseason?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers questions from fans

September 16th, 2019

Does the offseason cash flow toward Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon? Do we need starting pitching help more than third base or vice versa?
-- Tim P., Rockwall, Texas

That arrow points toward Rendon. An everyday power-hitting third baseman would have more impact than a starting pitcher. The problem with Rendon is if he starts looking for something more than five years in length. That could be a deal-breaker. Some clubs are starting to understand these 10-year megadeals are risky at the back end as guys like Albert Pujols, Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longoria and Ryan Braun have shown.

might make more sense for the Rangers on a shorter term and for less money. That would leave them flexibility in the starting pitching market. Cole would be fantastic for Texas, but at the same price, would you rather have him for 33 games or Rendon for 150?

Could Adrian Beltre use his friendship with Felix Hernandez to lure Felix to end his career with the Rangers as a starting option, or as a converted closer?
-- Mark E., Grand Prairie, Texas

Yes, if the Rangers asked him, Beltre would certainly at least explain to Hernandez the advantages of playing in Arlington, However, you have to realize that Hernandez is no longer King Felix. He has been on the injured list five times in the past four years and has a 6.31 ERA in 13 starts for the Mariners. That said, Hernandez is only 33 years old. Now the Rangers don’t need to be dumpster diving this winter, but a Minor League contract loaded with incentives? Interesting.

If Rougned Odor finishes the season strong, does he become tradeable? Not asking if he should or shouldn't be, just would he be tradeable?
-- Bennie B., Fort Worth, Texas

No. The only way you trade Odor is if the Rangers eat a considerable amount of the $36 million owed to him over the next three season or they exchange it for another club’s bad contract. Neither appeal to the Rangers, nor should it. There are a couple of factors in play here.

One is Odor seems to have acquired some humility and understands that he needs to get better. The other is that he has been fed a ton of new information this season that was not easy to understand and/or apply quickly. One person who knows him well said give Odor an offseason to process everything and he’ll come back even stronger next year.

If in the offseason the Rangers found themselves so inclined, what would be considered a good pitching return on a Willie Calhoun trade?
-- Donald M., Dallas

Right-hander from the Padres would be a really good return. Why bring up the Padres? Their lineup cries out for an outfielder who hits left-handed and they have some interesting young pitching. Left-hander is another good arm. Would San Diego be interested in Calhoun or ? Hard to say. But there does seem to be a potential for a match between the two teams this winter in some fashion.

Scott Engler seemed to have a promising year with Class A Advanced Down East and Class A Hickory. What kind of pitcher does he project as in the big leagues, a starter or reliever?
-- Justin C. Pratt, Kansas

Engler, 22, right-handed and a 16th-round pick out of junior college in 2016, is likely better suited for relief in an organization that develops excellent bullpen prospects. In 35 Class A games this year, he had a 2.23 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Engler's fastball is 93-94 with a slider and a split-finger fastball that could be swing and miss. He should get his shot at Double-A next season.

Do you have any memories of the Rangers resuming baseball after Sept. 11, 2001? I was at that Rangers-A's game with my dad on Monday, Sept. 17, 2001, and remember it well, minus the score or anything significant happening.
-- Kyle D., Euless, Texas

I just remember the Rangers being stuck in Oakland on Sept. 13, 2001, unable to fly and waiting on buses for the word to drive to either Seattle or Texas. That afternoon, they received word to proceed to Texas. The Rangers made the long trip down the San Joaquin Valley and got as far as Bakersfield, Calif., before traveling secretary Chris Lyngos hooked them up with one of the first sports-charter air lines given permission to fly. That allowed the Rangers to fly to Texas and get back much earlier than by bus. I also remember general manager Doug Melvin and Rich Helling, the team’s player representative, going out of their way to make sure the traveling beat writers knew they were welcome to join them. It was the only time I have ever been on the team charter.