Things have not gone as well for the Rangers so far in the offseason as anyone thought they would, but there are still options for GM Jon Daniels to add to an already good starting rotation.
With Zack Greinke on his way to the land of flowing beer the Rangers have a decision to make and they need to make it very quickly.
Do they trade a package of prospects for an ace like Matt Garza or Josh Johnson or do they dip into free agency and sign a middle of the rotation starter that can provide depth and eat innings.
One thing that has been lost since the end of the World Series has been the fact that Texas already has a solid rotation despite losing Cliff Lee and now Zack Greinke.
The Rangers run to the World Series was remarkable to those outside of the Rangers fan base only because starters CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis weren't known commodities.
They certainly changed that with outstanding starts in the postseason.
Wilson and Lewis pitched better than Cliff Lee in the World Series and pitched just as well as the Rangers former ace in the earlier rounds as well.
In other words, it's not absolutely vital for the Rangers to trade the team's top prospects for an ace when they could easily sign a guy like Carl Pavano and slot him behind Wilson and Lewis in the rotation.
With Greinke's trade over the weekend the market for Matt Garza will certainly heat up quickly so whichever route the Rangers want to go needs to be figured out before Pavano signs with another team.
At this point the Rangers can choose either route and the team will be better out of the gate than they were last season provided they bring back Vladimir Guerrero or sign Adrian Beltre for the middle of the order.
Not that Daniels and Co. listen to my opinion on these things but right now I think the better play is to sign Pavano and see if they need to add another starter at the deadline.
I believe this for two reasons.
One, waiting until the deadline makes sense because the Marlins could be out of the race in the NL East and we all know the Fish love trading established players for prospects.
Josh Johnson is currently unavailable but that could change if the Marlins are out of the race at the deadline.
Second and perhaps more importantly, the Rangers have to see what they've got in young arms like Derek Holland this year.
Waiting until the deadline gives the Rangers half a season to determine if Holland is a guy they want to give the ball to every five days, pitch out of the bullpen or even trade at the deadline for an impact player.
With Wilson and Lewis set to lead what shapes up to be a solid rotation for the Rangers next season, adding some depth with Pavano and holding on to their prospects makes a lot of sense for Texas, both for 2011 and the future.