The Texas Rangers plan to start the 2018 season with a six man rotation. That's the word from a Jon Daniels today, via the beat guys on Twitter, with Daniels saying the plan is to go with a six man rotation and a seven man bullpen, at least fo the first stretch of the season where there are fourteen games in fourteen days.
This means that even if Martin Perez is healthy to start the season and Mike Minor's transition back to a starting role goes as planned, Texas will need one more starting pitcher. The primary options would seem to be Matt Bush, who is attempting to transition from the bullpen to the rotation, vying with veteran NRIs Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese.
It would also, however, suggest the Rangers should have interest one of the various free agent starting pitchers that are still on the market. Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Jake Arrieta are the big names, and at the right price, Texas should be interested in any of those guys, but there are also options like Jaime Garcia, Andrew Cashner and Jason Vargas who appear likely to settle for one year deals.
Going with a seven man bullpen likely means spots for Jake Diekman, Alex Claudio, Keone Kela, Tony Barnette, Chris Martin, and, if he doesn't make the rotation, Matt Bush. The signing of reliever Seung Hwan Oh, which supposedly was agreed to last week, would make it seven, though, per the beat guys, Jon Daniels says there is "nothing imminent" on that front, so who knows what a going on there.
There had been talk of there possibly being some sort of platoon in left field to start the season, but a three man bench would make platooning difficult. Texas will need a backup catcher, a utility infielder, and a backup outfielder who can play center field. Jurickson Profar appears likely to be the utility infielder, and as has been discussed at length, he has no options remaining, which limits your flexibility since he can't be sent down. Similarly, the only real back up center fielder on the roster, Carlos Tocci, is a Rule 5 pick who cannot be sent down. If the Rangers opt to keep Drew Robinson as the backup outfielder instead of Tocci, they have more flexibility since Robinson has options, but he's also someone who would seem to be marginal at best defensively in center field.