Texas Rangers: Jurickson Profar
Today's issue: Could Winter Meetings be where David Price's market heats up?
Since it's cold and icy out there, let's talk more Hot Stove. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported this week that the market for Tampa Bay Rays' ace David Price is expected to heat up. And as you might expect, he lists the Rangers among the teams interested.
The Rays, of course, don't have to trade Price, who won the Cy Young Award in 2012. They have another competitive team and could roll with Price and see what happens. But if the Rays want to get the full value of trading Price, now is the time to deal him. He's got two years remaining on his contract and should land a nice prospect haul, considering how thin the starting pitching market is now.
Price finished the regular season in Arlington for Game 163 and gave up two runs on seven hits in a complete-game win to send the Rays to the AL wild-card game in Cleveland.
Besides paying Price -- MLB Trade Rumors thinks he'll make around $13.1 million in 2014 -- he's going to cost plenty in terms of prospects. That's what you'd expect. The question is what kind of price the Rangers would be willing to pay and how it might compare with what other teams are offering the Rays.
Tampa Bay likely won't be picky about any specific positions of need. They'll want the best package they can get. If the Rangers put Jurickson Profar in the mix, that would put them on par with just about anything anybody else can offer. But does it make sense to put Profar in a deal now that Ian Kinsler has been dealt? The club has some young, middle-infield talent beyond Profar, but they made the Prince Fielder deal in part to free up the space to play Profar.
Could the Rangers make a deal for Price without Profar? Possibly. There's plenty of young talent in the system, but for a player like Price, you would think other teams will dangle their top prospect, so it would depend on the package. Texas has power-hitting prospects, middle infielders and pitching at various parts of the lower levels of the minor-league system (names like Rougned Odor, Luke Jackson, Joey Gallo, Luis Sardinas and others). The Rays will likely want some sort of major-league starter in addition to whatever prospect package comes their way, so it could mean parting with someone currently in the rotation.
As we've seen in the past, the Rangers won't hesitate to talk and try to get creative. And if Price is made available, especially as the general managers gather in Orlando next week, you can bet the Rangers will be exploring the possibility. It's tough not to imagine what a rotation fronted by Price and Yu Darvish could do, isn't it? The question is whether, at this point, it's now too much to give up for him (signing him to an extension, perhaps having 48 hours to do so for the trade to go through, would be critical).
With so many free agents already off the board and a few big trades already in the books, Price's name could be one that we hear often next week in Disney World.
You got a package you'd be willing to send the Rays for Price? Tell us in the comment section and we'll discuss.
Now Kinsler is in Detroit and Andrus knows that Jurickson Profar is penciled in as his new double-play partner.
"We did play quite a few games this year and I know how talented he is," Andrus said. "It's going to be a little different for him. It's going to be up to him to go out there and practice as much as he can at second. He's got Wash to help him. It's going to be easier for him. He's a great kid and has a lot of talent. He's going to be fine."
Washington has stressed that Profar must earn the job in spring training, but has spoken about Profar's maturity and how quickly he's learning the game.
"The kid has aptitude, along with ability," Washington said. "Maybe having a chance out there on a daily basis will change and make us see the things that people say he's capable of doing. He had the toughest job in the game last year, trying to be a utility player at 20 years old. That's not easy to do. I think he did a lot of good things to help us win ball games and now he has to do something to win a job every day. The opportunity will be there."
Profar hit .234 with six homers and 26 RBIs in 286 at-bats for the Rangers in 2013. He was shuffled to all different positions and didn't ever find a consistent spot.
Now he's got the opportunity to play every day. And Andrus has the chance to help Profar adjust. It should make for a busy and educational spring training.
Today's issue: What now for the Rangers?
This is the second time we've done a "What now for the Rangers?" post, and it won't be the last this offseason. But last week represented a seismic shift in the offseason landscape. Big names were exchanged. Top free agents went off the board prior to Thanksgiving, let alone the winter meetings.
So with Prince Fielder now a Ranger, Ian Kinsler a Tiger and Brian McCann a Yankee (among other moves), where do things sit now?
The Rangers have satisfied at least one major priority during this Hot Stove season: a power-hitting, left-handed batter. Fielder can now go in the middle of the lineup, either batting third or fifth, because manager Ron Washington says right now he wants to leave Adrian Beltre at cleanup (though things could certainly change once the skipper sees his entire team in February). He gives the club that "presence," as Washington says, that they need.
But the shopping list is still very active for general manager Jon Daniels & Co.
The club still needs a left fielder. And there are corner outfielders available. They've shown interest in Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo and, of course, Nelson Cruz. Don't count out Nate McLouth, either. The club likes him and he's someone we'll profile on our "Hot Stove Talk" this week.
Because Ellsbury can play center field, I think his value will be too high to make sense. Leonys Martin can handle center, so I wonder if Ellsbury makes as much sense as the others.
Beltran could be attractive as a switch-hitter and someone who isn't looking for as long a deal as Ellsbury, Choo or Cruz, for that matter. He's risky in terms of his age, but his bat could help this lineup and give Washington options and his contract wouldn't break the bank.
I like Choo and I think he could help this team, but I wonder if the price is just going to be too high for the Rangers, especially in light of taking on Fielder's contract. But those are the kind of things that should play themselves out in the next few weeks.
I'll stick with my prediction on Cruz: I think someone gives him a deal that is more than the Rangers are willing to make. We'll see.
This club still needs a catcher to back up Geovany Soto. With McCann wearing pinstripes, the big bat option behind the plate isn't really there. As others have stated of late, Dioner Navarro makes sense or some other stopgap measure with Jorge Alfaro, one of the club's top prospects, a few years out from the big leagues. Maybe Ryan Hanigan becomes available from the Cincinnati Reds.
Even after the Fielder signing, Daniels said he wants another big bat. Does that have to be left field? Not necessarily. He could put that bat at designated hitter. But at this point, perhaps Fielder could slot in there at times if the club keeps Mitch Moreland.
Moreland is an interesting case. Texas could see what kind of value he has on the open market and decide where that may lead. But for a team that was short on power, he provided some measure of it. Perhaps his defense at first base and bat against right-handed hitters is enough to keep him in Texas, with Fielder being the DH when Moreland is in the lineup.
What about Robinson Cano? I still think it's unlikely, but that would certainly be a splash, wouldn't it? In that scenario, the Rangers could look to unload Jurickson Profar. David Price anybody? It seems far-fetched. But you can bet the Rangers are looking at every possibility. Nothing the Rangers have done so far should necessarily take them out of the Price sweepstakes. But they'll need to get creative do to it. You never know.
And get ready. There's still plenty of heat in the stove.
“It’s sad for the team, but also it’s a good chance for me to play every day,” Profar said in an exclusive interview with Amanda Rykoff, a freelance writer who has worked for ESPN.com and is in Curacao writing for The Outside Corner. “Obviously, it’s sad for the team. He was a great guy for us. A leader, a good teammate. It’s a sad loss.”
The trade means that Profar can slide into second base, alongside double-play partner Elvis Andrus. It will allow him to focus on just that one position and avoid moving around a lot like he did in 2013.
Profar was also glad the club gets a power-hitting, left-handed batter in Fielder.
“He’s a good hitter, a power hitter,” Profar said in the report. “I don’t know him or what kind of person he is, but I’ve seen him play and he seems cool.”
Again, you can read the entire story here.
"He’s a guy we like," Daniels said Wednesday night. "We like his potential and what he can bring to the table. He’s a guy we would like to see claim the job, but he's going to have to do that.
"We may bring in some competition for him and guys to push him, and he’s got some guys behind him that will push him."
Daniels acknowledged that Profar helped himself at winter ball, making some offensive adjustments. He hit .284 in 25 games with a .836 OPS.
"But there's no entitlement," Daniels said. "He’ll have to come in and win the job."
Wow!!! Big news... We traded Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler.— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) November 21, 2013
The blockbuster deal needs commissioner Bud Selig's approval and is pending physicals, according to reports, but it gives the Rangers the left-handed power hitter in the middle of the order that they need in 2014 and beyond.
The deal does several things:
1. Welcome to second base as a full-time job, Jurickson Profar. The highly touted prospect didn't have a spot in the Rangers infield as it was constructed, but this deal will allow him to play every day in the middle infield. There were many within the Rangers organization (and some scouts outside of it, too) that felt Profar's 2013 numbers were hurt by how he had to be a super-utility player of sorts. That won't happen now.
2. Fielder gives the Rangers a bona fide producer at first base. You'll have to go back to the first half of 2007 since that was last the case. The Mark Teixeira trade, still the most important in general manager Jon Daniels' career, gave the club some critical pieces to loft it into contention, but it left a void at first base that the club tried (unsuccessfully) to fill internally and with veterans on short-term deals.
3. Will Fielder stay at first base long? Maybe not. Mitch Moreland is also a left-handed hitter and a better defender. If the club doesn't trade Moreland, it could opt to leave him at first base and give Fielder more at-bats at designated hitter.
4. Where does Fielder hit? That's a question for manager Ron Washington. Fielder spent last season -- and most of his career -- as the cleanup hitter. Adrian Beltre spent most of the season batting fourth for the Rangers, so Fielder could bat either in front of Beltre or behind him with, perhaps, Leonys Martin or Profar leading off and Elvis Andrus in the top two spots. Alex Rios was the club's primary No. 3 hitter and he returns next season, so Washington has plenty of options.
5. What about Fielder's drop-off in numbers? Well, it's worth noting and is something to keep an eye on. Fielder's batting average (.279), home runs (25), OPS (.819) and slugging percentage (.457) were all down from 2012. The slugging, OPS and homers were the lowest of his career. Still, he has been very durable -- at least 157 games in each of his eight full seasons -- and despite the drop-off in numbers last season is still very productive and brings a big bat to this lineup.
6. Jon Daniels isn't messing around. The Rangers waited last offseason, trying to get an idea of the market on certain free agents, and, in the end, they lost out on Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Zack Greinke. Daniels decided to pounce early this time, securing the power hitter he knew was the top priority for the club this offseason. There's still work to do, but this is a huge first step for the front-office team.
We know Jurickson Profar isn't going to be in some kind of super-utility role in 2014. One way or the other -- through a trade of a middle infielder or someone (I still think Ian Kinsler) moving positions -- Profar is getting everyday time next season. So this team needs a utility infielder and Rosales fits the bill. He's played all four positions and is capable of filling in when needed to allow the regulars to get some rest.
He has made at least 18 starts at all four infield positions in his career and has done a solid job defensively. Again, this won't send Rangers fans cheering in the streets, but Rosales is the kind of piece you've got to have on your team in a 162-game season.
Honestly, I don't think the answers have changed much from last year. There may be chatter that Profar's value has gone down a bit because of his numbers in 2013. But I'm not buying it. The scouts I've talked to don't seem to believe his value has been hugely altered, and they point to the role he had as a utility guy who didn't really have a regular position.
They still see a high ceiling with the bat and a player who has solid staying power at the big league level at shortstop or second base. But he's young and still needs some time, preferably at one position on a consistent basis. The Rangers feel that way, too.
"We feel as strongly now as we did a year ago," general manager Jon Daniels said. "The multifaceted role was challenging for him and had an impact on how he can prepare and ultimately somewhat on his production. I feel as we did about him 12 months ago and I sense the industry does, too."
But the reality is the Rangers have three middle infielders and two infield spots. They have a few more highly regarded prospects a few years behind them, too, in Roughned Odor and Luis Sardinas. The other reality: You may hear plenty about Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus and their potential trade markets. But what GM doesn't want a young shortstop under club control for a while at an expensive price? And that's Profar.
So if that's the case, do the Rangers consider parting with Profar as one way to alleviate the logjam and help the club now and in the future? For a trade piece that big, it has to be the right deal. Those who have read this blog know that I'd be willing to include Profar (and have been for a year now) in a deal for Giancarlo Stanton. But the Marlins continue to stress they aren't dealing him (at least not this offseason).
Amid all this talk about St. Louis' interest in a shortstop is this tweet from ESPN.com's Jim Bowden:
Rangers &Cardinals remain strong potential trade partners with STL wanting Profar or Andrus & TX wanting Miller and/or Taveras and/or Adams— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 11, 2013
Bowden has talked before about how a Profar-for-Taveras trade would work for both teams. And perhaps with an outfield need now, the Rangers might at least discuss it. But there's a bigger fish in the pond that the Rangers would have to chase, at least in my mind, if available: David Price.
I know, I know. You're thinking the Rangers have other holes -- like a power bat and outfield -- that need filling now. That's true. But close your eyes and picture this rotation for just a second: Price, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Martin Perez. Yes, the Rangers' offense didn't do its job during the 2013 season. Still, pitching wins championships. And that rotation could be the best in the American League, when healthy.
You can't get Price without Profar, it seems. He has to front the package. And it will likely take another young pitcher or two and/or a power hitter at the lower levels to get this done. And there's a caveat: The Rangers would have to make the deal contingent on coming to an agreement with Price on a long-term deal (maybe they get 48 hours to do so or the deal is off). If the Rangers could get that extension, they'd have their rotation locked up for years to come with Alexi Ogando waiting in the wings if an injury pops up.
Profar has a bright future. I remain convinced of that in spite of how things went in 2013. You don't trade him unless it's a special deal. Price is that special deal.
When would you trade Profar and for whom?
The results from Crasnick's question on the landing spot for Price -- 17 of the 21 respondents think Price will be traded: Texas Rangers 9; Los Angeles Dodgers 4; Washington Nationals 1; St. Louis Cardinals 1; Los Angeles Angels 1; Houston Astros 1.
From the story:
"Tampa sells high on guys," the official said, "and they can't have one player making a quarter of their payroll. It's more a matter of where than if. I would look at the Garza and Shields deals as a blueprint and add to the return, because those guys weren't left-handed and they didn't win the Cy Young."
Said an AL scout: "That's Tampa's M.O. to keep their operation sustainable and competitive with their budget. Those guys haven't drafted very well in the past 5-6 years, so these trades are the way they replenish their system."
The Rangers and Dodgers lead the pack of Price's potential suitors. Texas is coming off a disappointing season and has enough talent on the farm to assemble an attractive package. "They finally find the right deal to put Jurickson Profar in," predicted an AL scouting director.
It's not surprising that the Rangers would considered the favorites on this. It's rare to see a guy of Price's caliber come on the market and it would likely take a package fronted by Profar to get it done. Who knows? Maybe the GM meetings this week are a time when the Rays take the pulse of the league to see where teams sit on it. The Rangers have the farm system to get this done. It just depends on how big a package the Rays would need and if the Rangers are willing to pay that price.
Jon Daniels’ focus: helping his team score runs.
The Rangers scored 730 runs in 163 games in 2013, their lowest average per game (4.48) since they moved into Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. They scored 78 fewer runs than in 2012. Since Daniels became GM, the Rangers scored at least 784 runs before 2013. So it was quite a drop-off.
“More or less we’ve been telling clubs our short-term needs are more on the offensive side,” Daniels said late last week. “We have some depth in a couple of areas organizationally and at the big league level. We’re open to different ideas.”
Daniels knows his team needs more production at first base. They need another outfielder, assuming Nelson Cruz declines the club’s qualifying offer as expected Monday afternoon, and they’ve got to figure out what they’re doing at designated hitter.
One position the Rangers will get calls about: middle infield. They’ve got a surplus there at the major league level with Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar ready for every day play with just two spots available. The Rangers will consider any and all options to alleviate that logjam, including trading one of those players. What about having someone change positions? Logically, that would be Kinsler, something the club broached last offseason, but didn’t act on.
“It’s something we have not discussed with the players yet," Daniels said. "It’s premature. We don’t know 100 percent what options may present themselves. I think obviously if we get to that point, we’ll talk to the players first. We’re not there yet."
Of course, Daniels won’t rule out another pitcher. Despite having four of the club’s five starters -- Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Martin Perez -- under contract through at least 2016, Daniels knows pitching depth can be tested in a hurry (as evidenced by injuries last year).
“If the right pitcher is there, I’d never rule that out either,” Daniels said, knowing offense is the priority. “It’s about adding impact players where you can.”
Daniels has stressed that he’s not out to “win” the offseason. He won’t allow a disappointing season to force him to react too strongly and get into contract situations that risk handcuffing the club in the future. But it’s a big opportunity to improve the club with some resources in the minor leagues to dangle in potential trades.
Stay tuned. It should be another interesting offseason to watch.
Daniels was asked about the logjam at middle infield with Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar needing every day at-bats with only two spots available. One possibility would be to move Kinsler to first base or the outfield, something the club toyed with last year but ultimately decided not to do. Daniels did concede that the front office has discussed several options internally, including moving Kinsler.
"It’s something we have not discussed with the players yet," Daniels said. "It’s premature. We don’t know 100 percent what options may present themselves. I think obviously if we get to that point, we’ll talk to the players first. We’re not there yet."
Some other notes:
Budget talk: Daniels was asked, again, about his club's budget and how tight it is this offseason. Daniels has said the budget won't increase much from last season.
"We have the ability to make the club better," Daniels said. "I don’t know that we’re going to be the biggest spenders, but I don’t really want to be. I don’t think that’s the way to build it anyway."
Daniels has never given out a flat budget number. And why would he? Do you want to send a signal to agents that you've got a bunch of money to spend? Why give away anything like that before you enter into negotiations with agents or other teams?
The second part of the quote is something Daniels firmly believes and has preached for some time. The Rangers will spend money -- see Yu Darvish and Adrian Beltre -- but they want to be smart about it. Daniels knows, and the Rangers' have too many examples in their past, that one or two big-money deals that don't pan out can hurt you for years.
First base options: Daniels said a few teams have called about Mitch Moreland because "teams look at him as a bit of a buy low candidate." Daniels did say the club is "going to need more production out of that spot." Moreland hit .232 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs in 2013.
"He's got great work ethic, almost to a detriment. He almost works too hard instead of taking a deep breath and let it happen," Daniels said. "For a team that’s light in the power department, that’s something we’ve got to consider (noting Moreland's homers). He’s got that kind of ability."
Coaching search: The club is still working on the seventh coach for its staff and Daniels said he was hopeful they'd have it figured out in the next few days. Once they decide on that job, they'll know whether Bobby Jones will be an additional dugout coach or actually coach first base for the Rangers in 2014. Texas wants someone with catching expertise for that last spot on the staff.
That makes Kinsler the most likely of the trio to get traded, if the Rangers make a move at all. Keep in mind he has a limited no-trade clause and can pick seven teams he can't be traded to. He has $62 million guaranteed coming his way for the next four years. He plays second base, a position that will be of significant interest this offseason thanks to Robinson Cano, perhaps the No. 1 free agent on the market. Cano wants more than $20 million (and maybe as much as $30 million) a season. Kinsler is making an average of $15.5 million each of the next four years. That's a savings to a team that either loses out on the Cano sweepstakes or doesn't want to pay that kind of money.
Kinsler is 31 years old. He hit .277 with 13 homers and 72 RBIs in 136 games last season. He had a .344 on-base percentage, much improved over his disappointing 2012 campaign. In fact, he had just as many RBIs in 2013 as he did in 2012, but hit 21 points better and played in 21 fewer games. His 5.0 WAR was the third-highest of his career.
Today's player: Robinson Cano
The Rangers need offense. They need power. They need a No. 3 hitter. Or a No. 2 hitter. Cano, who has played all eight of his seasons with the New York Yankees, would provide all of these plus an above-average defender at second base.
The challenge with acquiring Cano is this -- the Yankees want him back and probably will give him a competitive deal. Probably not the 10-year contract for close to $300 million that Cano reportedly has asked the Yankees for in preliminary talks, according to ESPNNewYork.com. Remember, the Yankees are already saddled with bad contracts, the worst being Alex Rodriguez's, which could create an opening for a team that will give Cano a long-term deal.
Cano is 31. Giving him anything close to a 10-year deal is a risk -- just ask the Angels with Albert Pujols or Josh Hamilton.
The Rangers privately coveted Cano before the July 31 trade deadline this season as they were mired in the middle of the pack in the American League in runs scored and knowing they were about to likely lose Nelson Cruz to a suspension. According to a source, the Rangers called the Yankees about dealing for Cano, their "dream" acquisition. The Yankees, still in the wild-card race, told the Rangers that Cano was unavailable.
Cano has averaged 28 home runs the last five seasons and the left-handed hitter's swing should produce the same results at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and its short porch in right field.
He'll cost $22 to $25 million per season, but he's also by far the best impact bat out there, and the Rangers desperately need one of those. Even with a glut of second basemen with Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar, the Rangers will likely make a run at Cano.
Why he makes sense: Again, the Rangers need a No. 3 hitter desperately. Six different players started in that spot last season. The Rangers had a .725 OPS and 17 home runs from the three hole. Cano would be the perfect fit behind Kinsler and Elvis Andrus and batting in front of cleanup hitter Adrian Beltre.
Why he doesn't make sense: Contract length. We could be talking 10 years here. As good as Cano is, pulling the trigger on 10 years, nine years, eight probably isn't the wise thing to do. Anything over five years for Cano, even with his extraordinary talent, will come with some risk.
Bottom line: It'd be foolish not to explore the possibilities with Cano. There's not a free agent bat out there that can rival the ability of a player the Rangers nearly had a decade ago when they traded Rodriguez for Alfonso Soriano.
The Rangers had a pretty good idea they would have to win all seven games on their final homestand of the regular season to have any chance of making the postseason, or at least get themselves in an American League wild-card tiebreaker game.
And they did just that.
A wild final week at Rangers Ballpark included 20-year-old rookie Jurickson Profar belting a walkoff home run, Alex Rios hitting for the cycle and a four-game sweep of former teammate Josh Hamilton and the rival Los Angeles Angels to close out the seven-game winning streak.
The Rangers' perfect homestand forced a tiebreaker with Tampa Bay for the second wild-card spot, which the Rangers ended up losing 5-2 in Game 163 to end their season.
The Rangers entered the week having lost on a Sunday in Kansas City on a walkoff grand slam by Royals outfielder Justin Maxwell. Ron Washington's team had a create some momentum with a three-game series against Houston.
The Astros were the perfect opponent. The Rangers, who were already 14-2 against Houston, built up steam with a 12-0 victory over the Astros on Monday night. Rios hit for the cycle, finishing it off in six innings, and Derek Holland threw a six-hitter.
Then came a 3-2 win on Tuesday as Adrian Beltre homered and a 7-3 victory on Wednesday as rookie Martin Perez won for the 10th time on the season.
The drama continued to unfold Thursday night against the Angels as Profar electrified the crowd with his sixth home run of the season, a towering shot to right field to finish off a 6-5 victory. The Rangers leaned on the bullpen from there, winning three close games. Neal Cotts won two games and Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan pitched in all four games of the series to force the one-game playoff with the Rays.
The Rangers had to have every win as Cleveland ended the season on a 10-game winning streak -- clinching the first wild-card spot. The Rays lost two games over the weekend at Toronto to allow Texas to pull even for the second spot.
"I believe in [momentum]," catcher Geovany Soto said after the game as the Rangers forced a Game 163. "I believe the team is coming together more than ever."
The Rangers didn't beat the Rays, but they did show determination in any forcing the extra game against Tampa Bay.
Profar is batting .469 in 32 at-bats for Licey, 31 percentage points better than teammate Yamaico Navarro, who is in the Baltimore Orioles' system.
Profar has 21 total bases with three doubles and a home run. He has a 1.217 OPS, which combines on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Profar, batting second, was 2-for-3 with a double in the Tigres' 7-0 victory Sunday. There are no games scheduled for Monday.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
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Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.