The Texas Rangers have 8 free agents this winter and not all of the decisions will be easy ones. Here’s how I see things going down this winter:
Cliff Lee: 32-year old lefty starting pitcher Cliff Lee started 15 games for the Rangers this year and he was 4-6 with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Overall he started 28 games for the Mariners & Rangers this year and he was 12-9 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. VERDICT: Initially I thought that Lee would be heading to the Yankees this winter but the fans were so mean and nasty to his wife that I now think the Rangers have a great chance of re-signing him and I think it would be very smart to do so.
Vladimir Guerrero: Guerrero played in 152 games for the Rangers last season and he was 178 of 593 (.300 avg, .841 OPS) with 83 runs scored, 29 homers, 115 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. The Rangers hold a $9 million dollar option on Guerrero or they can buy him out for $1 million bucks. VERDICT: I have a feeling that the Rangers will buy out Guerrero and then try to re-sign him to a smaller one year deal.
Frank Francisco: 31-year old righty reliever Frank Francisco pitched in 56 games (0 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 6-4 with 2 saves, a 3.76 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. VERDICT: Francisco is going to likely be looking for a closing job or at the very least a raise. I think he will leave the Rangers.
Rich Harden: 28-year old righty starting pitcher Rich Harden pitched in 20 games (18 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 5-5 with a 5.58 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP. VERDICT: The Rangers don’t want Harden back at any cost.
Matt Treanor: 34-year old righty swinging catcher Matt Treanor played in 82 games for the Rangers last season and he was 50 of 237 (.211 avg, .595 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 5 homers and 27 RBIs. VERDICT: The Rangers can do a lot better than Treanor so they should let him walk.
Jorge Cantu: 28-year old righty swinging 1B/3B Jorge Cantu played in 30 games for the Rangers and he was 23 of 98 (.235 avg, .605 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 1 homer and 2 RBIs. He played in 127 games combined for the Rangers & Marlins and he was 121 of 472 (.256 avg, .695 OPS) with 50 runs scored, 11 homers and 56 RBIs. VERDICT: The Rangers will kick him out the door.
Christian Guzman: 32-year old switch hitting 2B/SS Christian Guzman played in 15 games for the Rangers last season and he was 7 of 46 (.152 avg, .378 OPS) with 4 runs scored and 1 RBI. Guzman has now played in 104 games for the Rangers & Nationals last season and he was 97 of 365 (.266 avg, .648 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 2 homers, 26 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. VERDICT: The Rangers will also kick Guzman out the door.
Bengie Molina: 36-year old righty swinging catcher Bengie Molina played in 57 games for the Rangers and he was 42 of 175 (.240 avg, .599 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 2 homers and 19 RBIs. Molina played in 118 games overall for the Giants & Rangers and he was 94 of 377 (.249 avg, .623 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 5 homers and 36 RBIs. VERDICT: I think the Rangers will look in a different direction for a starting catcher in 2010.