Inbox: Will Rangers acquire an ace?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan fields fans' questions in the last Inbox of 2017

December 22nd, 2017

Isn't it time for Jon Daniels to quit bargain hunting for pitching and commit to a top-end pitcher to complement Cole Hamels, or is he just not that interested in winning?
-- Kris. H., Tahoka, Texas

This was made clear at the beginning of the offseason: The Rangers had three openings in their starting rotation this winter. Not just one. It was obvious from the beginning they were going to be acquiring starting pitching in bulk. With their financial parameters, one high-priced starter wasn't going to get it done -- their resources had to be spread out across the rotation.
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Interested in winning? The Rangers went all-out to win in 2015-16, and that's part of their current predicament. Five top pitching prospects -- , , , and -- were included in the trades for Hamels, catcher and designated hitter . That's a huge blow to pitching depth, not to mention the other setbacks in pitching development that have left the Rangers severely lacking in Major League-ready pitching prospects.
There are a lot of reasons, some self-inflicted, why the Rangers are in their current situation, but lack of interest in winning is not one of them.

's name hasn't been mentioned all winter. What are the Rangers' plans for him?
-- Sandy J., Las Vegas

Robinson is a physically gifted player who has earned a spot on a Major League roster because of his ability to play multiple positions. But he also has the ability to push in center, in left and at second base. He has hardly been forgotten.
The Rangers have a pitcher on the roster named , who they got from the Giants. Is this a guy who can help?
-- Chuck S., Oklahoma City

Blackburn has two attributes that the Rangers admire: High-quality character and the ability to throw strikes. His stuff though is considered average and he needs to find a "put-away" pitch to get Major League hitters out.
What would the Rangers have to give up in trade to get Chris Archer or Jake Odorizzi from the Rays, or from the Tigers?
-- Don M., Garland, Texas

To make a deal like that, you need at a minimum upper-level prospects, and the Rangers have already pillaged their farm system. Texas has only two players among MLB Pipeline's Top 100: outfielders Leody Taveras and Calhoun. Right now, the Rangers are of a mind to keep hold of the prospects they have.

Any chance the Rangers might re-sign ?
-- David M., Harker Heights, Texas

Only if the media gets a vote. Look, one thing about these reunions is it puts too much spotlight on the player and places undue pressure on him to recapture past glory. The Rangers saw that with Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli the last couple of years, and that would probably be the case with Holland.
Would it be logical to trade Odor to the Yankees for as our closer? I would want to get an extension first since he only has one year left. I would put at second since his defense is much better than Odor and I think if given a chance he can still be a good player.
-- Phil B., Fort Worth

That proposition has a lot of moving parts, but the bottom line is the Rangers are not going to trade a frontline position player for a high-priced setup reliever.