Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Rangers looking to boost outfield
This one made me scratch my chin and furrow my brow, at first. BBTIA:
Per ESPN New York's Adam Rubin (h/t AJM), the Rangers are interested in acquiring outfielder Jeff Francoeur from the Mets, and have a very narrow window in which they would have to complete a transaction, as he would not be eligible to make the post-season roster if not acquired by 11:00 p.m. CDT.
Where the problems would arise would be if Francoeur performed well against lefties and the coaching staff started giving him plate appearances against right-handers (an absolutely terrible idea), or if he continues to raise a stink about wanting more playing time and rubs somebody the wrong way. Otherwise, there's some reason to believe that you could pair him with David Murphy and give yourself a respectable COF platoon setup.
Leaving aside Frenchy's obvious limitations, my first reaction is to wonder what the Rangers would want with a Murphy/Francoeuer platoon when they've gotten along just fine this season without one.
Except, well ... The Rangers do have some moderately serious outfield issues. Their right fielder, Nelson Cruz, has played only 78 games and been on the DL twice because of hamstring problems. Their center fielder for much of the season, Julio Borbon, has a .301 on-base percentage. Their left fielder for much of the season, Josh Hamilton -- who's recently been their center fielder -- has a sore knee that might get worse before it's gets better.
Oddly, David Murphy might be the Rangers' most reliable outfielder. Except he can't really hit left-handed pitchers, and the Rangers are going to face some pretty good left-handed pitchers in October. Management's got no faith in Brandon Boggs, their best in-house option. Which leaves them looking for -- you got it -- a righty-hitting outfielder with some defensive skills who can be gotten on the cheap.