Realistically, what are the Rangers' chances of trading for Nolan Arenado from the Rockies and having it be a good move for them?
-- Paul F., Fort Worth
The Rangers have reached out to the Rockies about Arenado, and he would be their first choice to play third base. However acquiring the five-time All-Star will require a serious outlay of prospects. You are talking about some of the Rangers' best pitching prospects, possibly including right-handers Cole Winn and Hans Crouse. Is Arenado worth it?
Well, he signed for seven more years at $234 million, just below the $245 million Anthony Rendon is getting from the Angels. However, Arenado could opt out of his contract after 2021, so the Rangers could end up trading a bunch of prospects for a player who could be gone after two years.
There is no doubt Arenado is an outstanding player. Seven Gold Gloves in seven years speaks to his defensive skills. Offensively? Obviously, he has benefited -- like every other hitter -- from playing at Coors Field.
Over the past five All-Star years, Arenado is .332/.392/.645 at home and .269/.333/.506 on the road. During those five years, he is averaging about 18.2 home runs and 50.8 runs per season on the road, which comes to 36.4 and 101.6 for a full season.
If the Rangers are willing to pick up the salary and give up the young talent, Arenado would be a terrific addition. But there is considerable risk, and it is still not known how serious the Rockies are about trading Arenado one year after signing him to the big extension. They are close to being contenders, and Arenado also has a full no-trade clause.
The Rangers have a guy on their team who could be a better all-around third baseman than Rendon. His name is Joey Gallo. If Joey would move back to third, then maybe they could persuade Hunter Pence to hang around here for another year. Any chance Gallo would go back to third? Is this even being discussed?
-- Andy J., Fort Worth
The Rangers have moved Gallo all around the diamond the past five years. The merry-go-round needs to stop, and the Rangers appear ready to do that finally. Gallo is the Rangers' right fielder, which could be the best spot for him given his athleticism and tremendous arm. Third base is not being discussed.
Odor has never played third base professionally. He has been almost strictly a second baseman from the beginning. The Rangers are hoping to see more from Odor offensively this season, and a position switch as this point might not be conducive to that end.
Solak has a chance to hit at the big league level. If he does so, the Rangers will find a spot for him.
There is a good chance that the Cubs say yes to that package. Just remember though that Bryant can be a free agent after the 2021 season and maybe after this coming season, if he wins his grievance. Bryant’s situation probably won’t be resolved until somebody signs Josh Donaldson.
Does Blake Swihart have a chance to win a job as the Rangers catcher?
-- John S., Cambridge, Mass.
Swihart is a guy the Rangers have liked in the past, going back to his high school days in New Mexico. The Red Sox took him with the 26th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft and converted him from infield to catcher. He is a switch-hitter who could always swing the bat, but he was never able to crack the Red Sox lineup as an everyday player. Swihart has been used at multiple positions trying to keep his bat in the lineup. He has had some injuries and a family issue to deal with, but the Rangers want to give him a real chance to catch and see if he can turn his career around like Danny Santana did last year.
Is it possible for Leody Taveras to be the center field answer in 2020?
-- Hemant P., Cary, N.C.
Taveras is expected to start the season at Double-A Frisco. He is an excellent defensive player who is still developing offensively. He played in 65 games at Frisco this past season with a slash line of .265/.320/.375, so it would be a bit of a stretch to say he is ready to play in the big leagues. But if the 21-year-old comes into Spring Training and dazzles with his glove ... who knows what they might consider?