T.R. Sullivan is reporting that Chris Shelton has been designated for assignment, and that the Rangers are likely going to try to trade him.
Okay...I suggested a month ago that I thought Shelton's roster spot was in danger. Keeping both Shelton and Ben Broussard means you'd have one backup outfielder, one backup infielder, and one backup catcher, and I think the Rangers would like a little more flexibility than that.
This also suggests that the Rangers are either going to play Ben Broussard every day at first base, or else are going to have Jarrod Saltalamacchia play first base against lefties, with Gerald Laird catching against lefties (and some righties, presumably). Yeah, I know, the organization said that they wanted to have Salty focus on catching, but someone is going to have to play first base against lefties, and I think this would get his bat in the lineup more often than just catching would.
There is presumably going to be another move coming if Jason Jennings signs, with Robinson Tejeda being, to me, the most likely candidate to get axed.
But what this also suggests to me is that either Nelson Cruz or Jason Botts will be on the Opening Day roster. If we assume an infield of Broussard, Kinsler, Young and Blalock, and an outfield of Byrd, Hamilton and Bradley, with Salty catching and Cat DHing, you still have 4 bench slots. Laird (or Melhuse) will be the backup catcher, Vazquez will be the backup infielder, David Murphy will be the 4th outfielder, and either Cruz or Botts sticks around to get some COF and DH ABs.
I'm not sold on Broussard being any better than Shelton, but Shelton posted an OPS barely above 800 in AAA last year, and his power disappeared. I think he's an interesting reclamation project for a team, and I wouldn't be shocked if the Rangers regretted keeping Broussard instead of Shelton.