Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels went on the Ben & Skin Show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM on Wednesday morning and discussed a few Hot Stove Ranger items. Among what Daniels said:
He said manager Ron Washington was thinking of hitting new DH Lance Berkman third, though that hasn't been fully determined. The key is health.
"The knee will require some maintenance on his part and the part of our medical staff," Daniels said. "He’s going to need days off here and there. We think we can manage it. We think we can keep him in the lineup. I would think he probably won't play the field a lot, especially early, but is capable of playing some first base. We’ll try to keep him out of the outfield. Our goal is to keep him in the lineup. If he’s in the lineup he’s going to produce for you. How many games is that? As many as the knee allows."
While it appears Jurickson Profar will start the 2013 season at Triple-A Round Rock, nothing definitive has been decided, Daniels said.
"We believe Jurickson can play in the big leagues, whether that’s Opening Day, whether that's mid-year, whether that's late-year or next year, this guy is going to have a long, successful career in the big leagues," Daniels said. "We don’t view him as a prospect, necessarily, we think he’s a player."
"When we originally approached him (Kinsler), it surprised me at first how open he was to it," Daniels said. "He came out and said his preference is not to move, but I want to do what’s best of the team. He’s had some time to think about it and we’ve had some time to think about it.
"We’re not saying it’s definitely not happening, but it’s not something we’re going to lock in stone and say for sure it’s going to happen Opening Day. Odds are it probably won’t. We’ve got a really good situation here. We’ve got too many good players for those spots. At some point, we’ve got a decision that we’re going to be faced with. I just don’t think we want to force ourselves to make that decision before we have to."
It's possible Kinsler could work at some other positions in spring training, but the club isn't going into Surprise at this point with any plan. And Daniels noted that they want Kinsler working at second base, too.
"He’s capable of being a Gold Glove defender, but he didn’t have that kind of year last year," Daniels said. "I think you’re going to see most of the time he'll be at second (in spring)."
Daniels said the team is still looking at ways to improve, though they are happy with the current club. One of those spots is a starting pitcher.
"We really like our club," Daniels said. "We’ve got some work to do and address some needs. You could move some of your core players or change the look of your team, but the more we looked at it the more it didn’t make sense for what we were doing. Our commitment to our fans, our ownership and our players is to be in this every year.
"I can’t tell you what year we’re going to make it to the World Series or win it, but our goal is to have a chance every year. We don't want to make moves that would cut our legs out from under us and close that window. We really thought there were a lot of good players on the market. Let’s pick up the right veteran guys that fill our needs at certain spots; we feel we’ve done that."
Daniels added that he doesn't think anything major will happen before spring training, but added this: "But it's always one phone call away."