Daniels out­lines Rangers’ to-do list

Star-Telegram - - Sports - BY JEFF WIL­SON jwil­son@star-tele­gram.com

An­other riv­et­ing few days at the GM meet­ings have come to an end, al­though th­ese weren’t a waste for the writ­ers who came to cover the Texas Rangers.

New man­ager Chris Woodward made an ap­pear­ance, and gen­eral man­ager Jon Daniels came out of hid­ing now that the man­age­rial search is over. Nei­ther un­veiled the Rangers’ off-sea­son blue­print, but they didn’t duck many ques­tions.

Some, at least on Daniels’ end, but not many.

Here are few take­aways from what’s im­me­di­ately in front of the Rangers:


Woodward will be in and out of Ar­ling­ton from his home near Phoenix, where he in­tends to stay for an­other year be­fore con­tem­plat­ing a full-time move to the Metro­plex. His pri­mary pur­pose at the GM meet­ings was to be­gin nail­ing down a coach­ing staff, and that process will con­tinue next week with in­ter­views in Ar­ling­ton.

The Rangers are go­ing to keep Don Waka­matsu and Tony Beasley, and add Jayce Tin­gler. Daniels and Woodward weren’t very forth­com­ing be­yond that. A hit­ting coach is needed af­ter An­thony Iapoce went to the Chicago Cubs. Bos­ton Red Sox as­sis­tant hit­ting coach Andy Bar­kett has told the Rangers he is stay­ing put.

Woodward also said he plans to start reach­ing out to play­ers, and Joey Gallo was near the top of the



Daniels said he will speak with Adrian Bel­tre in the com­ing days about the Rangers’ plans for the ros­ter and their plans for him in 2019, but Daniels will not set a time­line for Bel­tre to de­cide if he will re­turn to the Rangers, re­tire or con­sider other clubs.

The Rangers are plan­ning as if Bel­tre won’t be on the ros­ter, from a prac­ti­cal stand­point as op­posed to them hav­ing al­ready de­cided to move on. To that end, Daniels said that Jurick­son Pro­far will get the ma­jor­ity of the games at third base, and Woodward has urged An­drus to take on a larger lead­er­ship role.

Bel­tre said late in the sea­son that he doesn’t want to drag out his de­ci­sion deep into the off-sea­son. He also said that he would be­gin his work­outs for a new sea­son as planned in case he does de­cide to play a 22nd sea­son.


Daniels said teams that hire man­agers or gen­eral man­agers or other front-of­fice per­son­nel typ­i­cally are slow at the be­gin­ning of free agency, and the Rangers fall into that cat­e­gory.

Daniels said that the Rangers won’t need much time to catch up.

Their pro-scout­ing meet­ings pro­duced an idea of the kind of player they are seek­ing and names who fit the pro­files, but Daniels said that they Rangers don’t have a tar­geted peck­ing or­der.

Once they do dive into free agency, the Rangers aren’t ex­pected to be set­ting the pitch­ing mar­ket. They have three spots in the ro­ta­tion to fill and are likely to add some sea­soned bullpen pieces.


The two pitch­ers the Rangers have for the 2019 ro­ta­tion, Mike Mi­nor and Drew Smyly, are both left-handed, and the Rangers learned last sea­son that too many lefty starters doesn’t play well in the Amer­i­can League West.

The Rangers had four left­ies – four! – in the sea­son-open­ing ro­ta­tion to take on Mike Trout, Al­bert Pu­jols, Jose Al­tuve, Car­los Cor­rea, Alex Breg­man, Khris Davis, Nel­son Cruz and Mitch Haniger, among oth­ers.

That didn’t go very well.

So, that could elim­i­nate Mar­tin Perez, Derek Hol­land and Yu­sei Kikuchi as ro­ta­tion can­di­dates.


The Rangers need to sign a pri­mary catcher af­ter let­ting Robin­son Chiri­nos go into free agency. It wasn’t so much the money that Chiri­nos would have been owed on his club op­tion, which had sailed north of $4 mil­lion based on in­list. cen­tives, but the com­bi­na­tion of that money and his de­fen­sive is­sues.

The Rangers don’t be­lieve that Jose Trevino, a de­fen­sive whiz in the mi­nors, is ready for the full-time job. He had left/non-throw­ing shoul­der surgery last sea­son and could be lim­ited in spring train­ing. Isiah Kiner-Falefa also isn’t ready for a full-time load.

The new catcher could come via a trade. The best out there is J.T. Real­muto of the re­build­ing Mi­ami Mar­lins. He has two years of club con­trol left, but it would take a pretty penny to get him. Maybe that’s where one of the four lefty-hit­ting cor­ner out­field­ers is dan­gled in trade talks.

Daniels also said that the Rangers could look for a righty-hit­ting cor­ner in­fielder to back up Ron­ald Guz­man at first base.


The Rangers have un­til Nov. 20 to de­cide which mi­nor-league play­ers they want to add to the 40-man ros­ter and pro­tect from the Rule 5 draft. The only one who is a lock, Daniels said, is left-han­der Tay­lor Hearn, the prize of the July trad­ing haul.

Daniels, though, omit­ted out­fielder Scott Heine­man, who should have been a Septem­ber call-up. Catcher Josh Mor­gan, in­fielder Andy Ibanez and right-han­der Michael Mat­uella are also can­di­dates, though Mat­uella had an­other in­jury in 2018 and strug­gled when he was healthy.

The non-ten­der dead­line is Dec. 1.

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