Friday, December 21, 2007
The Rangers have agreed to trade Edinson Volquez and a minor league pitcher to the Reds for Josh Hamilton. Hamilton, the feel good story of 2007, was a number one pick by the Devil Rays in 1999, but fought drugs and legal issues and was not expected to return. However, he came to the Reds via the Cubs in the Rule V Draft, and definitely contributed. Despite ending the year with an injury, he hit .292 with 19 HR and 47 RBI. He should definitely help the Rangers after they lost their big power hitter in Mark Texeira.
Volquez, 24, is a hard throwing pitcher who was 14-6 with a 166 K in the minor leagues last season. He will probably get a spot in the rotation if he performs well in Spring Training.
In an attempt to upgrade the Rangers bullpen, they are making strides in signing Eddie Guardado in hopes to sign him before Christmas. Guardado would be a solid addition the bullpen if he can stay healthy. He is 41-55 with a 4.31 ERA and 183 SV in fifteen major league seasons. The closer spot is still up in the air, and if he signs with the Rangers, he should compete with C.J. Wilson, Joaquin Benoit, and Japanese closer Kaz Fukumori.
In the rotation, they have a lot of depth, but are still looking for a veteran pitcher. They have contacted Bartolo Colon, but feel they have a better chance with Jason Jennings. Both pitchers struggled, but have been successful in previous years. They are also looking into Mike Maroth, and Mark Hendrickson. In the outfield, with the addition of Hamilton, they will probably stop trying to trade for Andre Ethier or Juan Pierre. They still are shopping Gerald Laird, but are not finding any suitors.