The Yankees have two third basemen -- Miguel Andujar, who was great in 2018 and hurt this past season, and Gio Urshela, who did a great job filling in for him. Do you think the Rangers would have interest in either one of those two players?
-- Jose R., Dallas
The Rangers definitely have interest in both players, if the Yankees are looking to make a move. Andujar is especially attractive to the Rangers, given how much cheaper his salary would be than that of free agents Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson.
The problem is that the Yankees want a front-line starter, and that would mean someone like Mike Minor or Lance Lynn, not one of the young guys, such as Brock Burke, Joe Palumbo or Kolby Allard. After all, the Yankees are always in "win now" mode. Maybe the Rangers could get creative with some of their bullpen arms -- the Yankees love relievers -- or one of their outfielders. But the lack of an impact starting pitcher to deal would make it tricky.
With the logjam of left-handed bats in the outfield, and the disappointing offensive production from center field and right field, do you think the Rangers will try to move anyone before the start of Spring Training?
-- Kelly T., Arlington
Yes. The Rangers have made it clear that they will explore many possibilities, and they will certainly gauge outside interest in Nomar Mazara, Willie Calhoun, Shin-Soo Choo, Delino DeShields, even Joey Gallo. As far as the Rangers are concerned, nothing is off the table this winter. The answer to the next question is obvious. The Rangers will want young starting pitching in return, especially in any deal that involves Gallo, Mazara or Calhoun.
How much do you think Globe Life Field will help in attracting free agents thanks to its retractable roof? Won’t pitchers be especially happy to pitch in those conditions?
-- Tim K., Fort Worth
That is the Rangers' fervent hope, but don’t expect a mad rush just yet by free agents clamoring to get to Arlington. There is no doubt North Texas has many factors working in the Rangers' favor -- the lack of state income tax being high on the list -- but there has yet to be a game played at Globe Life Field. Nobody knows exactly how the park is going to play. Pitchers especially will be wary until they are comfortable they are not pitching in an extreme hitter-friendly environment.
I read that Boston doesn’t believe it can keep J.D. Martinez on the roster and sign Mookie Betts. Would a straight trade of Choo for Martinez make sense for both clubs?
-- Jason L., Fort Worth
The Rangers would obviously be interested in Martinez, who has three years and $62.5 million left on his contract. He can opt out after each of the next two seasons, but a club can’t count on that happening. The only negative for the Rangers is that they are finally about to get under Choo’s contract and would be taking on two extra years for Martinez. There's nothing wrong with that if Martinez stays productive, but if the Red Sox can’t re-sign Betts, they may want to hold on to Martinez.
We just drafted two top-tier third basemen in Josh Jung and David Wendzel, so is signing a top free-agent third baseman a good idea? I would love to see Anthony Rendon at the hot corner, but does Mike Moustakas make more sense until Jung is ready? Should the Rangers use more money on starting pitching?
-- Matthew G., Arlington
Moustakas is a left-handed hitter, and the Rangers are seeking more right-handed balance. That said, if the Rangers acquire the right starting pitching, their lineup will be fine with the addition of a left-handed-hitting third baseman capable of 30 home runs. Besides, Moustakas seems to have a tendency to show up in the postseason lately.
It’s been well publicized that the Rangers need more production at first base. If Ronald Guzman is not the answer long term, why is Joey Gallo not mentioned when talking about how to fill this position? Is Gallo's defense more suited for the outfield than first base? He has the prototypical build of a power-hitting first baseman, and it would seem a move there would protect his long-term health more than if he remained in the outfield.
-- Drake D., Waco, Texas
First basemen, it would seem, have a better chance than outfielders of staying healthy for a longer period of time. The overall goal also should be to do everything possible to maximize Gallo’s offense. But the Rangers appear committed to him in the outfield because they feel he can be an impact defensive player there.
Would you offer Cole Hamels a two-year deal with a player option for a third year? Two years and $24 million to be the third or fourth starter?
-- Lance L., Arlington
Yes, although it would probably take more money and maybe a third year. Hamels may prefer signing with a team that has a perceived better chance of reaching the postseason, but he would be a nice addition to the rotation if the Rangers can sign an impact third baseman. Hamels and Hyun-Jin Ryu are two veteran left-handers who would fit nicely with the Rangers.