Texas Rangers Options for Replacing Derek Holland Until Midseason

Jeffrey Kahn@jkahn24Correspondent IIJanuary 10, 2014

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28:  Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers looks down after pitching during a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 28, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Texas Rangers might be weighing trade options with bringing in a starting pitcher for replacing Derek Holland who is out until midseason after he suffered a knee injury on Tuesday.

Sportswriter Anthony Andro of FoxSportsSouthwest.com reported the news via Twitter.

Also per Andro, "Holland has had knee problems in the past but those were with his right knee. Tweaked in (start) in 2010 and again later that season."

Holland is the projected No. 2 starter for the Rangers by MLB.com. You can see the full depth chart listed in the embedded image below also found on the Rangers' website.

Texas.Rangers.MLB.com under depth chart

So where does this put the Rangers for the start of the 2014 season?

General manager Jon Daniels shouldn't panic as the Rangers have a solid pitching staff. But, Holland's health will be a big question moving forward for the team and the uncertainty might sway Daniels into making a move. What options does Daniels have?

Should the Rangers go after David Price now?
Should the Rangers go after David Price now?Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Rangers have Prince Fielder at first base and still have a chance to sign a free-agent bat.

Mitch Moreland could be on the trading block for the Rangers if they are looking to add another starter. Also, per staff writer Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times in a November 2013 article, Moreland could be a good fit for the Tampa Bay Rays. This might mean that David Price, who was once rumored to be on the trade market per Topkin, could make his way over to Arlington.

However according to Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune, the Rays are considering keeping Price on the team for the upcoming season.

They are willing to listen on Price, who has two seasons until free agency, but it's going to take a lot — in terms of young talent — to get him. Fair conclusion: They haven't been made a good-enough offer yet.

In essence, the Rays are waiting to see if someone makes it worth their while to trade Price and take the accompanying step back team-wise.

Will Masahiro Tanaka be in a Rangers' uniform in 2014?
Will Masahiro Tanaka be in a Rangers' uniform in 2014?Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Are Moreland and possibly other prospects enough to reel in Price? Or, do the Rangers look towards free agency?

Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is in America looking to make the move to an MLB team per multiple reports. And via T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers are monitoring the Tanaka situation closely.

There are also a couple of other available free agents out there in Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, but those two pitchers wouldn't be a good enough fit to fill in as the No. 2 starter.

If the Rangers go after a pitcher now, it will certainly be someone who can make a difference in the long run especially when Holland is healthy. Jimenez and Santana are too shaky for the Rangers to bring in, but nonetheless Daniels could still look at them as free-agent options.

With Holland's future unclear at the moment, what do the Rangers do moving forward? For a team that was unimpressed by Matt Garza in 2013, per columnist Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, the Rangers could strongly be looking to acquire Price for 2014 Opening Day.


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