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Evan Grant's Opening Day Roster Prediction

Evan Grant offers his current prediction on the Rangers' Opening Day roster

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Grant has his latest projection of what the Rangers' Opening Day roster will be up at the DMN Rangers blog, and there are a couple of changes from where he was before.

First, Grant has Michael Choice making the team, along with Engel Beltre, as a backup outfielder.  I've been assuming Choice would start the season in the minors, but then, I have also assumed that the Rangers would be bringing in a RH bench bat.  Given that there aren't really any other legitimate options for a RH bench bat (unless you count Robinson Chirinos, which I don't, because there's no point in having J.P. Arencibia or Geovany Soto DH), the Rangers at this point pretty much have to keep Choice as the DH against lefties, though Choice's strong spring is apparently making the choice a little easier.

Grant also projects that both Tommy Hanson and Joe Saunders start the season in the rotation, with Matt Harrison on the d.l. and Colby Lewis either in the minors or on the d.l.  Evan points out that this may mean paying the pair $4 million for a total of 4 or 5 starts, since Harrison and Lewis are likely going to be ready pretty quickly, and that's why I still think it is unlikely that both Hanson and Saunders make the Opening Day rotation.  If you believe Matt Harrison will just miss a start or two, it seems like you'd be more likely to just give that start to Michael Kirkman or Nick Tepesch, rather than pay Hanson $2 million to make a pair of starts.

Evan also mentioned in the comments of the morning thread that the Rangers and Hanson have an agreement that Hanson will not be optioned...he'll either be in the majors, or be released.