Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tempting Targets: Rangers Rule-5 Players

There is still time to add a couple of players to the Texas 40-man roster, which now stands at 38.   I would think that Chris McGuinness might be outrighted off the 40 and Brett Nicholas added.  Nicholas might have a future as a platoon bat off the bench - .900 OPS RHP- (the same ceiling that some thought McGuinness might have had but who is clearly an 4A guy after an unimpressive 2013) but the contact issues that he demonstrated in AA and in the AFL suggest that he is a 4A stud and nothing more.

I was surprised that Randy Henry was not protected and may therefore be injured. His ceiling is MR, high groundball rate on his moving FB, low strikeout rate.   Chad Bell was the last surprising omission from the 40-man who I speculated was injured and it turned out that he had off-season TJ surgery last spring.  This time around Bell is unprotected again as he is still rehabbing so is unlikely to be protected or selected but will likely make his way back to the AAA rotation by mid-season unless his arm is slated to be protected in the pen all year.  His is a fringy #5 ceiling, middle reliever/loogie, whose #s took a hit when he jumped to AAA in 2012.

There are a few players - only 2 really-  that teams might take a flyer on as 25th men:

Ryan Rodebaugh- had a terrific AA stint in 2012 whose walk rate doubled in 2013 at the same level
Jimmy Reyes- not impressive vs RHH but effective enough vs LHH that someone might take a flyer on him as a loogie.

UPDATE: Actually, as 11/21 was the deadline to set 40-man rosters it is too late to protect anyone.  I guess it speaks volumes that Texas chose to keep McGuinness on the 40 while leaving Nicholas unprotected.

UPDATE II:  Looking at the depth chart, and thinking about what kind of players Texas might be looking for in the minor league phase of the Rule-5 draft in mid-December, they could be in the market for a 1b, LF & UIF at the AA-A+ levels, while they will be looking for infielders at the AAA level, though they will likely sign veterans  with ML experience in Jan/Feb for 2 of the three vacant spots - 2b, 3b, SS - as possible 25th-26th man candidates as injury-call ups.

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