Welcome to 2014!
The year is new, but not much has changed with the Texas Rangers' offseason plans and wish list.
After spending a combined $268 million on Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder this winter, the club seems to be a long shot to land Masahiro Tanaka, according to this snippet from DFW SportsDay on Air by Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News.
Grant says that the only real way Texas could seriously feel comfortable jumping into the Tanaka bidding is by selling the naming rights to Rangers Ballpark. This move could bring in several million dollars per year, depending on who the rights are sold to.
Tanaka or not, the Rangers need another starting pitcher. If they get one, it will also seal up any personnel question marks in the bullpen. But at this point in time, the offense looks 98 percent set. As I've said in previous articles, I think the Rangers signing Jeff Baker on a cheap one-year deal is entirely realistic. But the starting nine should be absolutely ready to roll into 2014.
Forty-three days out from the start of spring training, I'm taking a look at that starting lineup for the Rangers as it stands right now. I'll give my best, most honest projections for each player, as well as provide some thoughts for each projection.
I'll start with the leadoff man—the "Choo Choo Train" himself, Shin-Soo Choo—and progress through the expected order.
*All 2013 stats courtesy of ESPN.com