Diving into the depths: Texas Rangers

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Texas Rangers
1. Scott Feldman
2. Rich Harden
3. Colby Lewis
4. Tommy Hunter
5. Brandon McCarthy
6. Derek Holland
7. Matt Harrison
8. Neftali Feliz
9. Dustin Nippert
10. C.J. Wilson
11. Guillermo Moscoso
The additions of Harden and Lewis would seem to ensure that both Feliz and Wilson will remain in the bullpen for now. Holland might have a chance to crack the rotation, but McCarthy is the favorite and Harrison will be a factor if he shows up healthy after shoulder surgery.
Eric Hurley, another pitcher coming back from shoulder surgery, isn’t expected to be a factor during April or May.
1. Frank Francisco
2. C.J. Wilson
3. Neftali Feliz
4. Darren Oliver
5. Darren O’Day
6. Chris Ray
7. Dustin Nippert
8. Derek Holland
9. Doug Mathis
10. Warner Madrigal
11. Clay Rapada
12. Geoff Geary
13. Pedro Strop
14. Willie Eyre
15. Ben Snyder
16. Luis Mendoza
17. Michael Kirkman
The bullpen looks pretty strong with Wilson and Feliz in setup roles. O’Day was stellar last year, so there should be five spots spoken for. Ray, who was picked up for Kevin Millwood, will get every opportunity to secure one of the openings, while the other could go to more of a long man, possibly Nippert or Holland.

1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
2. Taylor Teagarden
3. Toby Hall
4. Max Ramirez
5. Kevin Richardson
First base
1. Chris Davis
2. Matt Brown
3. Justin Smoak
Second base
1. Ian Kinsler
2. Khalil Greene
3. Esteban German
4. Joaquin Arias
5. Ray Olmedo
Third base
1. Michael Young
2. Khalil Greene
3. Esteban German
4. Matt Brown
5. Chris Davis
1. Elvis Andrus
2. Khalil Greene
3. Joaquin Arias
4. Ray Olmedo
Given that they don’t seem to have a lot of faith in Teagarden, the Rangers might yet add a catcher to help protect them in case Salty’s shoulder problems limit him during the season. I can’t imagine that Hall will prove to be the answer.
Left field
1. Josh Hamilton
2. David Murphy
3. Craig Gentry
4. Brandon Boggs
Center field
1. Julio Borbon
2. David Murphy
3. Josh Hamilton
4. Craig Gentry
Right field
1. Nelson Cruz
2. David Murphy
3. Vladimir Guerrero
4. Brandon Boggs
Designated hitter
1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Josh Hamilton
3. Max Ramirez
Borbon has already been penciled in as the leadoff man, and it appears that Kinsler will hit down in the lineup. I can see Borbon excelling as a fantasy outfielder, but I doubt he’ll have a great OBP in front of Young and Hamilton.
The Rangers could still add another bench bat to go along with Murphy, Greene and the backup catcher. As is, German could be considered the favorite for the last spot.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
AP Photo/Paul Beaty
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.

The Diamondbacks met with Johnny Cueto’s agent

AP Photo/David Goldman
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Update (7:58 PM EST): Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart met with Cueto earlier this month in the Dominican Republic and made a contract offer that the right-hander turned down. The Diamondbacks maintain interest in the free agent.


Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Diamondbacks spoke with Bryce Dixon, the agent of free agent starter Johnny Cueto. However, Rosenthal notes that Cueto’s price tag is expected to exceed the Diamondbacks’ comfort level.

Cueto, 29, is one of a handful of highly touted starting pitchers in this offseason’s free agent class. He is joined by David Price and Zack Greinke, among others. Jordan Zimmermann inked a deal in the neighborhood of $110 million over five years with the Tigers on Sunday morning, which will serve as a barometer for Cueto.

Cueto finished the 2015 regular season, between the Reds and the Royals, with a 3.44 ERA and a 176/46 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. He made 13 shaky starts with the Royals, but outside of a shellacking in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, pitched well in the post-season. Cueto pitched a complete game in Game 2 of the World Series against the Mets, helping put the Royals up two games to none at the time.

As a result of switching teams during the season, Cueto was not eligible to receive a $15.8 million qualifying offer. This means that Cueto, unlike Zimmermann for example, does not come attached with draft pick compensation.

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski is reportedly trying to trade Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Nick Cafardo provides this interesting nugget in his Sunday notes column at the Boston Globe

Hanley Ramirez, 1B-DH, Red Sox — There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.

Cafardo notes that “there are huge hurdles to cross” before a trade could happen — like how much of Hanley’s remaining salary the Red Sox would have to eat and what positions the soon-to-be 32-year-old is able to play defensively at this point in his career.

Boston’s higher-ups have asked Ramirez to learn first base and drop 20 pounds this winter. Whatever team is looking to acquire him would probably have to be comfortable with him serving primarily as a designated hitter.

Hanley is owed $68.2 million over the next three seasons and he carries a $22 million vesting option for 2019. He batted just .249/.291/.426 in 105 games this past year.