For at least the next two years, the Rangers will have the services of Michael Young. They’ll pay him a bargain basement $4.5 million in 2007 and then $5 million in 2008 (which is an option year) but after that, Young will be able to test market. That is, unless owner Tom Hicks has something to say about it. Hicks has publicly said that he’d like to lock up the shortstop to a longer term deal to keep in a Rangers uniform.
I also think the Rangers should be looking to do something similar to Mark Teixara, who will be a free agent after this season. Regardless, it looks like Hicks is only leaving the window open for Young until the season starts and then it’ll probably be put off for another year.
PECOTA is projecting some pretty good things out of Young. They have him at .305/.358/.464, at least for his weighted mean average. I could live with that.
Beyond the Boxscore recently released their 2007 Rangers preview. It’s an interesting and more sabermetrically oriented look at the team. He says the Rangers should be in the thick of the division title race, their good offense, and how the addition of Brandon McCarthy could make a good complement to Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla. A major question mark which is also analyzed is the bullpen, which could revolve around Eric Gagne’s comeback.
The final prognosis is that the Rangers should be competitive in 2007 but watch out in 2008. Good stuff here and a solid read.
It’s good to see I’m not alone in thinking the Rangers will be better in 2007. Rangers owner Tom Hicks spoke out yesterday and along with having some nice words for new manager Ron Washington, he thinks the Ranges will be right there for the first time in a long time when it comes to competing in the AL West. He also has some nice things to say about Sammy Sosa and the additions that the Rangers have made to the rotation.
Prospect guru Kevin Goldstein recently unveiled his list of the top ten Rangers prospects. Everyone got a bump because John Danks probably would have topped the list but with the trade for Brandon McCarthy, the top spot went to right hander Eric Hurley. He was also the only guy who Goldstein put into the “excellent” category.
Hurley was good at High A but he really shined when he got promoted to Double A. He’s a tall, power pitcher and while he’ll probably get a repeat at Double A, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Hurley falling into the that fifth spot in the rotation some time after the All Star break.
Edinson Volquez comes in at second and he’s also a hard thrower. He had a cup of coffee with the Rangers in 2006 and he’ll be in the mix for that fifth spot in the rotation. Walks are a concern but he struck out 130 in 120 2/3 innings at Triple A.
After that, the talent pool dips a bit. Number three and four are still pitchers though. Thomas Diamond is number three and he’ll test his mettle at Triple A. Number four is a lefthander. Kasey Kiker was the Rangers first round pick in 2006 and while he has a lot upside, he’s also a couple of years away.
John Mayberry, the first position player on the list, rounds out the top five. The outfielder is on the cusp of prospectdom because he’s getting up there in age (23). He’ll be starting in High A but if he doesn’t make it to Double A by the end of the season, you’ll probably see him drop off a lot of lists next year.
Add one more name to the list of potential fifth starters. Former Orioles starter Bruce Chen signed a minor league deal with the Rangers and he’ll compete againt Jamey Wright, Kameron Loe, and a couple of other farm hands for the fifth spot in the Rangers rotation. My bet goes to Loe, who I still think could pan out.
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