What's next for Atlanta and Texas?
October, 8, 2012
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesWilll Texas be able to re-sign Josh Hamilton, or has he played his last game for the Rangers?
After more than seven months and 162 games, the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers won 93 and 94 games, respectively.
Their seasons ended in the span of three hours, as they became the first teams to lose in MLB’s new wild-card elimination game format. Such is the new reality for wild-card berth winners.
This also means the offseason has arrived for the Braves and Rangers. So let’s take a look at what both teams need and the possible moves that could improve their clubs or at least shore up the weaknesses.
Josh Hamilton, OF; Mike Napoli, C; Mike Adams, RHR; Koji Uehara, RHR; Mark Lowe, RHR; Roy Oswalt, RHR; Scott Feldman, RHR (club option)
The Rangers will lose several significant arms from their bullpen. They hope to get Neftali Feliz back, but both he and Alexi Ogando have told the Rangers their preference is to start, so the Rangers must address those bullpen losses. The Rangers also must figure out a plan for top prospect Jurickson Profar. Is he ready for the big leagues, and, if so, would he or fellow shortstop Elvis Andrus possibly move to center field? But their biggest decisions this offseason will be regarding free agents Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. Will the Rangers re-sign or replace them? Here are several possible free-agent targets, including Hamilton and Napoli: