Jeff Cavanaugh for 105.3 The Fan,

The Rangers hot stove has some things bubbling and other things simmering, so why not throw some of it out there and see what smells good…..

Josh Hamilton –  In a perfect world the Rangers would love for Josh to say “Hey guys, 3 years, $75 million seems fair for everyone, let’s get that done”.  In the real world, we’re probably in for a little bit of waiting to see if one owner is going to throw out a crazy deal like the Angels did for Pujols or the Tigers did for Prince Fielder.  It only takes one.

The other option for Hamilton’s job is Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks.  The word is that the Rangers are in hot pursuit of a trade for him, it will be interesting to see what happens if they come to a trade they think is agreeable before Josh lets the Rangers know what it will take to keep him.  What do you do?  Say goodbye to Josh and his huge numbers before even knowing what it would take to keep him around?  Or wait it out with the possibility that Upton is traded somewhere else AND you lose Hamilton?

The further removed we are from the end of last season and all the agitation that Josh brought the more I’m convinced that keeping him around is the best thing for winning baseball.  Even factoring in all the fun excuses he had for not being able to hit.  Let’s recap those.  I’m probably forgetting some.

1 – The sun shines in my baby blues.

2 – 8 pound, 6 oz newborn baby Jesus is upset I haven’t quit tobacco yet, and is forcing my bat to miss the baseball when I swing. (paraphasing of course)

3 – My eyes are broken because of caffeine.

You take those excuses, and the crazy looks he has to get from teammates in the clubhouse, and to me you discard all of it because the numbers he put up certainly aren’t replaceable by Justin Upton.  The only way you can really “replace” his production would be if the Marlins decided suddenly to make Giancarlo Stanton available.  Then you have JD call and offer Profar, Olt and whatever else it takes to get him.  For now we’re in a world where they won’t happen, so I think you gotta try and keep Joshua around, regardless how strange a human he might be.

Next on the Ranger docket is Zack Grienke.  Looks like a bidding war with the Dodgers for now.  Important to keep in mind he once nixed a deal to Washington because he wasn’t convinced they could win.  If the Ranger money is comparable to the Dodger money, winning does matter to him, and the Rangers look pretty good with their recent history.  A possible problem here of course is still Josh Hamilton.  If he’s getting $25 million a year, you probably don’t have the dollars to go after Grienke.

Sidenote:  Love the Joakim Soria deal for the Rangers.  He won’t be ready to go until May, but it’s another low risk, potential high reward deal by the JD regime.  If he’s back near the form he had once upon a time (a top 10 Cy Young guy as a closer) he’ll be a setup guy this year, and replace Joe Nathan as the closer for next year.  That’s a great deal with his price tag. ($8 million guaranteed for two years)

Have I mentioned I love this offseason?  The Rangers are short a catcher (Geovany Soto isn’t an every day catcher for a World Series contender), a left handed bat, a starting pitcher and an outfielder at the very minimum.  The good news is, if you have to trust a front office to figure out a way to fill all these holes, I’m feeling pretty good about JD and Nolan with the money behind them to make something happen.

Feel free to fire off your hot stove opinions to me @JC1053.  Ranger talking makes me sports happy.

Happy Rangering.  End Glorious Tidbit Ranger Edition 12.5.12

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