Texas Rangers: Buster Olney

Olney: Jason Kubel a fit for Rangers?

December, 24, 2012
ESPN.com's Buster Olney runs down his list of candidates for Jason Kubel, the most likely outfielder (he's more like a DH) to get dealt by the Diamondbacks now that they have a surplus. Here's part of what Olney writes about the Rangers' fit (he ranks them sixth on his list) on Kubel (to read the rest, you need to be an insider):

They need left-handed hitting, too, and they lack power in the aftermath of Josh Hamilton's departure. But Kubel is an imperfect fit for the Rangers as well, because they prefer to keep their DH spot flexible and have a lot of day-to-day candidates.

That list could be plenty long depending on what happens this offseason. If Ian Kinsler moves to first base, Mitch Moreland could get some DH chances. A.J. Pierzynski could DH on days he doesn't catch. What about Nelson Cruz or David Murphy at times?

The Rangers value flexibility and Kubel may not offer enough of it to make complete sense. But he is a left-handed hitter and had 30 homers and 90 RBIs in 2012. Arizona is looking to deal an outfielder and Kubel may be the most logical one to go unless they are blown out of the water for Justin Upton. I tend to agree with Olney here. Kubel just isn't a perfect fit. I'd rather see the club stick with the internal options. As we've discussed, Upton is another story. He's young, under club control for a while. But the price to get him may be too high.

BTW, Olney believes that the Tampa Bay Rays, in need of a DH, make the most sense. Read more here (insider).

Olney: Yu Darvish is critical playoff player

September, 26, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- ESPN.com's Buster Olney went through each team currently in playoff position and listed the "most important player" for those teams.

Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz comments on Adrian Beltre's hot streak, the playoffs, his humanitarian efforts in the Dominican Republic and more.

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It's not surprising that he came up with Yu Darvish for the Rangers. I agree. If Darvish pitches like an ace in October, it gives the Rangers a tremendous advantage. Darvish hasn't looked intimidated by the pennant chase and is showing the stuff that had scouts raving about him before Texas signed him in January.

If Darvish can match up against the top pitchers from the Rangers' playoff opponents (or maybe not even the top pitcher depending on how the opposition's rotation shakes out based on wild-card games, etc.), it sets the Rangers up for a good series.

You can read the rest of Olney's impact players here. (Insider)

Cole Hamels speculation continues

July, 9, 2012

If the Rangers trade a top prospect for a pitcher, who would be the best target?


Discuss (Total votes: 4,357)

Buster Olney joins Mike and Mike in the Morning to discuss possible landing spots for Cole Hamels if the Phillies elect to trade him, including the first-place Texas Rangers.

Olney: Rangers No. 3 overall in MLB

January, 2, 2012
After breaking down the various positions, ESPN.com's Buster Olney has now done an overall ranking. It's based on what we know now about the teams, understanding that things could certainly change before and during spring training (remember the Rangers made two key moves last January: signing Adrian Beltre and trading for Mike Napoli). Olney has the Rangers third, behind the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. Here's what he says about Texas:

3. Texas Rangers

The Rangers probably have more depth than any other organization, and they will be needed this year as they sort through new rotation and bullpen alignments.

Yu Darvish is not yet signed, but rival executives don't believe he has much leverage and will eventually work out a deal.

The teams behind the Rangers:

4. New York Yankees
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
6. Boston Red Sox
7. St. Louis Cardinals
8. Detroit Tigers
9. Los Angeles Angels
10. San Francisco Giants

Olney: Rangers lineup is No. 2 in MLB

December, 31, 2011
ESPN.com's Buster Olney's series continues today with the top lineups in Major League Baseball heading into 2012. He puts the Boston Red Sox on top, followed by the Rangers. Here's what he says about Texas:
2. Texas Rangers

During the course of the 2011 season, Texas suffered significant injuries to Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz -- and the Rangers still managed to finish third in the majors in runs scored, through the excellence of Michael Young, and the emergence of Mike Napoli. The band will be back together again in 2012.

Can you imagine what the Rangers would be like with the addition of Prince Fielder, dropped right into the middle?

The teams behind Texas:

3. New York Yankees
4. St. Louis Cardinals
5. Colorado Rockies
6. Detroit Tigers
7. Toronto Blue Jays
8. Kansas City Royals
9. Arizona Diamondbacks
10. Cincinnati Reds

Even with the addition of Albert Pujols, the Angels only made Olney's "honorable mention" list. Here's what he says about that:
Albert Pujols helps, for sure, but whether the Angels develop into an elite lineup will depend on the progression of the other parts: Chris Iannetta, their new catcher; Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout, their emerging young outfielders; and Kendrys Morales, who hasn't played in a major league game in 19 months and may or may not ever be the same.
You can read the complete story here (insider).

Olney put Rangers' outfield No. 3 in MLB

December, 30, 2011
ESPN.com's Buster Olney has found a spot for the Rangers in the top-10 of all of his various position rankings. That includes the outfield. He placed the Rangers third. Here's what Olney wrote:

3. Texas Rangers

Ron Washington has depth and talent to work with, from Josh Hamilton to Nelson Cruz to David Murphy to Leonys Martin. The Rangers do fret over Hamilton's impatience at the plate, his tendency to give away at-bats early in the count, and his nagging injuries -- in spite of his picturesque swing and power, Hamilton finished last season with a .346 on-base percentage.

Cruz's hamstring issues are as inherent on his résumé as his power; he's played a total of 360 games over the last three seasons. Murphy is the tortoise of the group -- over the last four seasons, he's had anywhere from 111 to 122 hits annually. At some point, the Rangers would love for Martin to establish himself in center field, to enable Hamilton to make more starts in left field.

The two teams in front of the Rangers:

1. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. New York Yankees

The teams behind the Rangers:

4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Los Angeles Angels
6. St. Louis Cardinals
7. Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Boston Red Sox
9. Kansas City Royals
10. Baltimore Orioles

Again, here's the entire story (insider).



Adrian Beltre
.324 19 77 79
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182