Astros: Gauging the AL West as the offseason simmers
Like the Angels, the Rangers are bringing a different manager as Chris Woodward comes over from the Dodgers coaching staff. Contrary to their division rival, Texas is looking to continue its rebuild instead of competing in 2019. Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor, Shin-Soo Choo, and Elvis Andrus likely remain the core of the lineup, however, future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre‘s retirement now creates a need at third base. I’d expect Jurickson Profar to get a look as the hot corner as did log 410 innings there in 2018.
Areas to address: Starting pitcher, reliever, or basically any available pitcher on the cheap
Don’t look for the Rangers as an active suitor for another hitter. Sure, they could use one or two, but I think the pitching staff is the main priority. From a long list of Texas starters in 2018, Mike Minor is the only one of note to return. The recently signed Jesse Chavez is a start, and an underrated acquisition, but it’ll take more than him to turn around this struggling pitching staff.
Unfortunately for Texas, there is little sense in offering a big contract to a pitcher like Keuchel or Corbin as they aren’t close to contention. The best course of action for the Rangers is to fill out the starting rotation and bullpen with low-risk, cheaper alternatives, and hope that a few become trade chips by July. Now is the time to see what they have on the current roster, and hope prospects come along quickly.