Inbox: How will Rangers navigate FA market?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers fans' questions

November 24th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- Sending our deepest sympathies to the families of two former Rangers employees who passed away in the past few days.

Dr. Phil Mycoskie passed away on Monday, the son of former Rangers team physician B.J. Mycoskie. Phil and brother Mike also worked for the Rangers for many years.

Jeff Rodgers passed on Saturday. The ever-popular “Moose” was a former Rangers home clubhouse attendant and friend of both players and media.

Do the Rangers have any interest in Ha-seong Kim, the shortstop from South Korea?
-- Chris M., Plano, Texas

The short answer is yes. Kim, 25, is 5-foot-9 with power and speed and is expected to be posted by the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization. The Rangers have a strong scouting presence in the Far East and have Kim covered. Kim hit .306/.397/.523 with 30 home runs and 23 stolen bases. He is a shortstop but could also play third or second.

All of that fits the Rangers. They have a need for an infielder who could impact a team offensively regardless of the position. If the Rangers feel Kim can do that, they will be aggressive in their pursuit. The obvious caveat is Korean baseball is a step or two below the Major Leagues, but there may be more upside here worth pursuing at age 25 than your average big league free agent this winter.

The other caveat is the Rangers have some excellent middle infielders lined up in their farm system. Anderson Tejeda is the obvious name, but the others include Maximo Acosta, Luisangel Acuna, Osleivis Basabe, Jonathan Ornelas and Chris Seise. None are ready right now, but the Rangers should have multiple candidates ready when Elvis Andrus’ contract runs out in two years.

It seems like the Rangers are being linked to some free agents who are high dollar. Why? Isn’t that against what the organization has said about the budget for '21?
-- Patrick A., San Marcos, Texas

Nobody was seriously linked to anybody until the Braves landed Charlie Morton on Tuesday for a one-year, $15 million deal. The Rangers made a serious run at Morton two years ago, but he ended up with Tampa Bay.

The Rangers have finished their organizational meetings, during which they evaluated their players, reviewed the Major League rosters and farm systems of the other 29 teams and discussed who is available on the free-agent market. That list is not complete yet because a large group of players will become free agents at the Dec. 2 non-tender deadline.

What’s still to be determined is how the circumstances surrounding this past season will affect the free-agent market. There is no doubt a number of clubs -- including the Rangers -- are still dealing with the economic fallout created by the pandemic and will take a guarded approach to the free agent market. It may be awhile before clubs begin to establish the market parameters.

What do you think the chances are of a / package deal for better prospects if a trade is to happen? Would there be a bigger return there instead of possibly dealing each one separate?
-- Rusty C., Marshall,Texas

Former Rangers general manager Doug Melvin had an interesting perspective on the kind of deal you are proposing. He explained that if you send two top players to the same organization, you start talking about lower-rated prospects to complete the deal. Better to split the two players and aim for top prospects from two different organizations.

What would the Rangers demand as a return if they decide to trade Lynn now? A proven bat or a few promising prospects?
-- Lars A., Kassel, Germany

Three years ago, the Rangers traded Yu Darvish to the Dodgers and received three prospects in return. One was Willie Calhoun, who was producing offensively at Triple-A and appeared ready to take the next step to the big leagues. They also received pitcher A.J. Alexy, who was 19, and infielder Brendon Davis, who had just turned 20 three days before the July 31, 2017 trade. Alexy was just added to the 40-man roster so is obviously still held in high esteem by the Rangers.

The Rangers are unlikely to get a young starter to replace Lynn in the rotation. But if they can get a legitimate young hitter ready to contribute to a big league lineup and a couple of strong lower level prospects, that would probably be the best deal they could make for Lynn.

We are reading and hearing a lot these days about seeing all of the young players and planning for the future, but I haven’t seen anything about Danny Santana? Is he the forgotten future star?
-- Jack G., Beaumont, Texas

had elbow surgery in September and is expected to need 7-8 months of recovery. It’s unlikely he’ll be ready for Opening Day next season. Santana is eligible for arbitration this winter, but the Rangers will likely non-tender him. That will make Santana a free agent and the Rangers could re-sign him to a contract of lesser value. They still like him, but Santana has a long road back.