|ESPN.com: Buster Olney||[Print without images]|
|Michael Wacha abandoned his changeup in Game 6, and the results were disastrous.|
|Wacha's changeup was all over the place in Game 6.|
Don't look for the Rangers to be a player on Robinson Cano, the Jay-Z client who is seeking $300 million, even though the left-handed power hitter would look pretty nice batting third and dumping homer after homer into the right-field seats at Rangers Ballpark.
Another star up for grabs this off-season is Jacoby Ellsbury, but he isn't an easy fit on a Rangers team that believes it has found its center fielder in Leonys Martin.
The Rangers, though, will be active in free agency. General manager Jon Daniels, other club executives, and the Rangers' fleet of scouts have spent the past month evaluating the market and targeting the players they want.
"That's obviously a huge part of our process, and probably the most important part,” Daniels said. "We'll be ready when it opens up.”
The race is under way. Here's a look at the top players the Rangers could pursue.
Brian McCann, C
One of the top free agents, the seven-time All-Star for Atlanta is a left-handed power hitter and is considered a quality receiver. His throwing is generally considered below the league average, though teams haven't run wild against him. McCann will turn 30 in February, but he has caught fewer games each of the past three years. He caught only 92 games in 2013 after starting the season on the disabled list. Both of the Rangers' catchers in 2013, A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto, are free agents.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF
The Rangers don't have a hitter like this 31-year-old, who has a career .389 on-base percentage and has hit 20 homers four of the past five seasons. Choo, who had a .423 OBP in 2013, has been a Rangers trade target in the past. Though the native of South Korea played primarily center field in 2013 and has extensive time in right field, Choo has experience in left field. That's the one outfield position where the Rangers have a need.
Nelson Cruz, OF
The Rangers will make a one-year qualifying offer to Cruz for $14.1 million, but he has said that he wants to cash in on his first and possibly last shot as a top free agent. Both sides have said that they don't want to part, and negotiations can continue if Cruz turns down the qualifying offer. Clouding his first time on the market is his admission to using performance-enhancing drugs. But several teams need power bats, and that includes the Rangers.