OTOGH: Wanted: First Baseman


With Spring Training just around the corner, what is happening with the Rangers and first base? Mitch Moreland is now with the Red Sox, and there was talk about bringing Mike Napoli’s party to Texas. But, alas, there has been a bump at the refreshment table.
Nap wants a multiyear deal, of at least two years, and the Rangers aren’t going to do that. They are looking for someone right now to get them to the World Series.
I am on the No No Napoli train. Napoli is only a temporary solution to a real problem. The Rangers need a solid first baseman and someone for the long haul. The reality is that the right first baseman could send the Rangers on the way to a dynasty. Multiyear World Series appearances and championships.
That is not going to happen with Napoli. Rather, the Rangers’ focus should be on getting a long-term first baseman. Before the Rangers signed Carlos Gomez, there was talk about putting together a trade for Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds. Now that the Rangers have Gomez, why not put together a trade for a real first baseman?
Whom do I have in mind? Only the best first baseman in all of baseball. Paul Goldschmidt.

It would be a big trade. The Rangers are out of prospects after two years of trading for Cole Hamels, Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy. However, they do have too many players and some good ones that could be better suited for Arizona. Jurickson Profar is a great multiuse player who is too talented to be a backup, but the Rangers’ positions are taken. Going to another team means he plays full time. Joey Gallo has been on the trading block more than most mutual funds. While a lack of performance last year has hindered him, I believe that in the right package, he can be worthy piece of a trade. Mark my words, I think a trade is what is going to make Joey Gallo. As soon as he is traded, we are going to see the power and the numbers he is capable of. Nick Martinez can be a starter or a reliever. He’s very capable, and for a team that needs some bullpen help, Martinez can make the call. Keone Kela is a great arm, and, again for a team lacking in the bullpen, he can shore up the late innings.
The Rangers have lost their big bats. Prince Fielder, Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran are gone, and Paul Goldschmidt could be the big bat the Rangers are looking for. Goldy also brings the much-needed defense that the Rangers are lacking with Mitch Moreland’s departure. I believe the Rangers won’t get the deal with Napoli. The Twins are going to get him. The Rangers also are not going to go after Goldschmidt. I still think it’s the right move to go after a quality first baseman.

I would also like to take a moment and defend my case for Pudge Rodriguez. Frank Thomas has made some wild accusations about the Hall of Fame class, saying in no uncertain terms that Pudge was a user of PEDs along with Jeff Bagwell. I grew up watching Houston, and the killer B’s were the best. I will now take this time to defend always and forever Pudge and Bagwell. I wholeheartedly believe that these men did not use PEDs. Over their careers, they did not have the huge body changes that you saw with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and, on the Rangers side, Rafael Palmeiro. Pudge and Bagwell pretty much maintained their performance levels, having good and bad years but for the most part no huge explosion of performance, as we saw with McGwire and Sosa. Bagwell and Pudge both have a history of being extremely disciplined in their workouts. The other thing I keep hearing is that they are not defending themselves. If they were to defend themselves, what would that look like? Palmeiro up in front of government officials perjuring himself. This hurt any form of defense against using PEDs. Both Bagwell and Pudge have said next to nothing as a defense. I support that; there is nothing they can say. If they say they didn’t do it, people won’t believe them anyway. Pudge’s response is not a cop-out but a powerful statement of faith: “God knows.” Letting Pudge and Bagwell into the Hall of Fame does not allow other PED users. The tests were done, and those who did it were caught. It’s time to stop pointing fingers and start celebrating these men’s careers and welcome them to Cooperstown.

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