It is still only December, but the 2015 baseball season is rapidly approaching as pitchers and catchers will be reporting to camp in less than two months.

That gives the Texas Rangers plenty of time to make any changes necessary to be successful in 2015. First-year manager Jeff Bannister will have his work cut out for him to restore a club that lost 95 games last season. It also looks like he will head into next year with most of the same guys who were a part of the franchise’s worst season in 11 years.

It is still unknown how successful this team can be with a healthy roster. Players like Prince Fielder, Martin Perez, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison all missed significant time on the disabled list with different injuries. Handfuls of other players missed most of the 2014 season or large stints during the campaign. The injuries really exposed the lack of depth in the organization, which general manager Jon Daniels began addressing last season when he traded Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers.

Texas received two of Detroit’s top pitching prospects in the exchange.

Pitching is still an area that needs significant improvement, especially in the rotation. That is one of two changes the Rangers need to make before spring training commences in February, and it will start with pitching.


Profar Must Move to Third Base/DH

Yes, Jurickson Profar must move to the hot corner occupied by one of the best in Major League Baseball.

If Profar is able to come back and prove that he has been worth the wait, then that is what he must do. He is currently rejecting surgery in order to play in the upcoming season according to Calvin Watkins of He will begin the year in the minors but will most likely make a quick comeback to Arlington. It should give him some time to work out at third and develop some decent fundamentals at the position.

If the Rangers decide to keep him at short or second, which is highly likely, then his return should be in the DH spot. Most of his value lies in his swing, so keeping him off the diamond would not be a bad option.

Why does this need to happen? Because Rougned Odor isn’t going anywhere, and jobs around the horn are hard to come by in Arlington.

Adrian Beltre, the current third baseman for the club, will be 36 years old in early April and is entering his 18th season as a big leaguer. Even though he still has one of the best arms in the game, it’s safe to say he has lost a step or two defensively.

In fact, according to Fan Graphs, Beltre’s UZR/150 has dropped dramatically since joining the Rangers 2011. That year, his rating was 16.9 but was followed by a 14.2 in 2012, -1.4 in 2013 and rose back to a positive 5.3 last year.

Giving Profar a shot at third would still allow Beltre to hit as the DH. If Profar lives up to the hype while playing every day, it could give this lineup a boost in the run-scoring department.


Trade for or Sign a Free-Agent Starting Pitcher

Although the Rangers are doing themselves a favor by staying quiet this offseason, it would still benefit the club to trade for a starting pitcher.

The Rangers were able to get Ross Detwiler from the Washington Nationals during the 2014 winter meetings. However, he spent the entire 2014 season in the bullpen for the team and has struggled for the majority of his career in both the pen and the rotation.

Detwiler, no matter what the stats say, still gives Texas a solid flex option on its staff. But that doesn’t solve any problems within the rotation, which currently has Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis occupying spots. One spot could be taken care of with an internal candidate, but the spot available in the front end of the rotation must be found elsewhere.

Max Scherzer and James Shields are most likely not on the team’s radar, but other viable pitchers still remain on the open market. The Rangers have been in contact with multiple teams with the availability of some of their players, including the New York Mets and San Diego Padres according to T.R. Sullivan of

Martin Perez and Matt Harrison are the reasons Texas can’t go into next season with multiple young arms in the rotation. Bother lefties will most likely be out until at least July, and the youngsters who took over for them in 2014 struggled mightily.

If the club is looking to contend after a two-year hiatus from the playoffs, its pitching staff must be improved.


All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted.

You can follow Trey on Twitter @treydwarren.

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