Texas Rangers Mailbag: Arenado, Filling Out the Roster

Chris Halicke

With the holidays upon us, the Rangers still have several needs on their roster. Rangers fans are aware of this and didn't let them go unnoticed in this edition of SI Rangers Maven mailbag.

Best options in free agency for those positions are Josh Donaldson, Eric Thames, Kevin Pillar, and Robinson Chirinos. Obviously, the trade market plays a role too, which includes Dominic Smith for first base, Starling Marte for center field, Willson Contreras for catcher, and of course Nolan Arenado for third base. 

The Rangers will add externally for third base one way or another. Whether that's giving in a offering Donaldson four years, pulling off a trade for Arenado, or some other solution. For the other three positions, I like a reunion between the Rangers and Chirinos. I don't think they should have let him go in the first place. 

For first base, they are still interested in Nicholas Castellanos, who could platoon at first with Ronald Guzman and play the outfield when not playing first base. Center field could use an upgrade, but if they don't get the chance to address it, Danny Santana is a fine player there. 

It's very difficult to fill this many spots in one winter. If they fill all but one, that's a job very well done by Jon Daniels, especially taking what he's done with the rotation into account. 

As long as the Rockies are willing to listen and engage in talks about him, absolutely. Arenado wasn't even thought of as a potential trade piece until they saw how the market for third basemen was developing. They may want to capitalize on Arenado's value now and get quite a haul.

The Rangers will have to give up quite a bit to have a legitimate shot at seizing him from Colorado. There are no reports that the Rangers are out because of too high of an asking price, like they have with Josh Donaldson in free agency. That's a good sign for anyone who wants Arenado in Rangers red, white, and blue next season.

Any major trade is risky. Some trades make perfect sense on paper. Look at the trade for Jonathan Lucroy. The Rangers needed a catcher and he was one of the best in the game. He just never panned out in a Rangers uniform and has really taken a fall off a cliff since then overall. 

A trade for Arenado would require quite a return. At least a couple top prospects, a major league ready player, and maybe another top-30 prospect. It may even be more, but I think that's a good place to start. But we are talking about acquiring one of the premiere stars in baseball today who is under control for a while. The only hiccup with that control is his opt-out he has in his contract after 2021. 

That is the riskiest part of a potential trade for Arenado. If they can somehow get Arenado to waive that part of his contract as part of the trade, it's definitely worth giving up a haul of prospects to land him. 

Personally, yes. I think they should try every avenue to try to land Arenado. The only part that concerns me is the opt-out he has in his contract after 2021. As I mentioned in the last question, if they can get him to waive that as part of the trade, I think they should do everything possible to pry him away from Colorado. 

I think a package for Arenado starts with a major league ready player. two top-ten prospects, and one more top-30 prospect. The Rangers aren't going "all in" anytime soon, but they are making moves to become a competitive team for multiple seasons, just like they did from 2010-2016. 

Odds to land Arenado are difficult to speculate at this point. But the good news is there's been nothing reported that stops the deal from potentially happening. 

If the Rangers don't land Arenado, they could have a change of heart of Josh Donaldson if he's still available. If not, they may have to go with a Todd Frazier or another one-year stopgap at third base. 

They could explore a trade for Kris Bryant, but I find that much more unlikely. He's filed a grievance over service time and could have only one year of control instead of two. He will more than likely lose his grievance, but either way, he is surely going to test free agency. The Rangers aren't likely to give up top prospects for only two years of a declining player. 

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