As I've been reading all around the internet this week, I keep seeing references by quite a few different reporters who's rumors, articles, tweets, etc have a common line included: "Rangers officials believe they can contend in 2010."
If that's the case and the Rangers believe they can put a division, pennant, or World Series contending team on the field this season, what better way to get out of financial problems than to get butts in the seats by running out a rotation featuring Johnson, Hardin, Sheets, Feldman, and Holland?
Looking at the happenings that have gone on this week, I believe this rotation IS possible for this season. Hardin is already in the bag at $7.5 of the 8 or 9 we saved in the Millwood deal. We all know Sheets was supposed to be here last season and spent the whole year rehabbing with Rangers personnel in the Arlington area. The Rangers are/were hoping to sign him to an incentives laden contract and it's believed Sheets won't sign until later this winter. Tom HIcks said he hopes to have the sell of the team done before the end of the year. If that were to happen, the Rangers may be in position to spend money a little later assuming Sheets is still on market. Finally, Johnson would cost the Rangers the most in prospects, but perhaps the least in dollars. We've seen the package they've rumored to have already offered (Smoak, Feliz) which was apparently turned down. That's TWO top ten prospects in ALL OF BASEBALL. The Marlins don't want to deal Johnson and from what I read, were looking for a package of "at least FIVE prospects." So, here's my deal for Johnson. Chris Davis, Matt Harrison, Eric Hurley, Blake Beavan, Jose Vallejo and Wilfredo Boscan. There's no top 10 prospects, but there's two major league ready starters, a potential replacement for Uggla, an elite lower level arm and a big power bat that could help replace Uggla's.
Trading Hurley and Harrison will help alleviate the log jam at the #4 and #5 spot with Feldman, Holland, Hunter, McCarthy, Wilson, Feliz, and Nippert still sitting there looking for an opportunity and Perez and Kiker potentially knocking on the door. This would also clear the way for a potential Lowell trade to man first while Smoak develops in the minors for the first half of the season.
If you assume the rotation is Johnson, Hardin, Sheets, Feldman, and Holland, that makes the bullpen include CJ, BMac, Nippert, Feliz, Ray, and Francisco with Hunter as the long man.
Sure would be a nice rotation and a REALLY nice bullpen.