Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 11/14/11
The general manager's meetings this week in Milwaukee don't normally produce the same drama as the winter meetings. That figures to be the case again this week but that doesn't mean things can't get done. It was during the week of the GM meetings last year that the Texas Rangers sent a contingent to Arkansas to try and woo Cliff Lee in what turned out to be a failed effort to lands the lefty starter. Don't expect the Rangers to do the same thing this week to try and convince C.J. Wilson to sign with the organization. For one, Wilson is in Japan doing a variety of things, including taking a tour of the Phiten headquarters. Another reason wooing Wilson might not be the answer is because the Rangers do have other options. Here are six players who could fill the Texas rotation for 2012, assuming that Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis and Alexi Ogando are the four locks as starters. 1. LHP C.J. Wilson This is the move that makes sense for continuity, even if it is costly. How much Wilson wants could be the key question. Wilson's lackluster playoff performance certainly hurt his dollar value on the open market, which is great for the Rangers. The problem could be that Wilson is the hottest commodity on the market. The New York Yankees are interested, which could drive up the contract on Wilson. According to Foxsports.com, the Blue Jays, Angels, Nationals and Marlins are also looking at Wilson. The Rangers must decide at what point do they not want to get into a bidding war. Why he makes sense: Wilson knows how to pitch in Rangers Ballpark and is familiar with the coaching staff. He would be able to continue his development as a starter in the organization he came up with. 2. LHP Mark Buehrle Buehrle has been a fixture with the White Sox, but the free agent has already said that there will be no discount given to Chicago just because of his playing career. Buehrle would already be the best-fielding pitcher for a Texas staff that struggles to field its position. He would also be the kind of innings-eater at the top of the rotation that Wilson was. He's pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last 11 seasons. At 32, he's also just two years older than Wilson and has a much better track record. He's won 26 games over the last two seasons, five fewer than Wilson. But Buehrle won those games playing for a team that wasn't as good as the Rangers. Why he makes sense: He eats up innings and would give the Rangers a veteran at the front end of their rotation. Buehrle also will likely cost less than Wilson despite a better resume. 3. LHP John Danks Reunited and it feels so good? Well maybe not so good considering many Rangers fans are still feeling the sting of the trade of Danks that netted the Rangers Brandon McCarthy. The Rangers have an infatuation with Danks, whom they considered acquiring at the trade deadline this year. The price will be higher now than it was when the Rangers traded him to Chicago in 2006. That may not be such a problem though as the Rangers have one of the deepest minor-league systems in baseball. He's also coming off a down season, as he won just eight games and had his highest WHIP and hits per nine innings since his rookie year of 2007. The key would be locking up Danks if they make a deal. He's arbitration eligible and will be a free agent in 2013. But if the Rangers can deal for Danks and lock him up, they are acquiring a pitcher who's just 26 and already had 54 victories. Why he makes sense: He's a fit in a young Texas rotation if the price isn't too high as far as prospects. He also makes sense is the Rangers can lock him up and keep him off the market in 2013. 4. RHP Roy Oswalt Consider Oswalt this year's version of Brandon Webb or Rich Harden if the Rangers try and pursue the veteran. The Phillies declined a monster option on Oswalt, setting him free. The problem is back issues limited Oswalt to just 23 starts for the Phillies. The back problems are a huge concern, especially considering Oswalt is already 34. Team president Nolan Ryan is a big fan of Oswalt, which could sway the team. An incentive-laden contract makes the most sense, but that was also the case for both Webb and Harden. Neither of those worked out too well for Texas. Why he makes sense: He could serve as a mentor for a young pitching staff. If he's healthy, he also has the experience of being a true ace, something no other pitcher on the staff can say. 5. RHP Neftali Feliz Feliz is probably the team's best internal option for a starter if they are comfortable they can find another closer. He was the team's best starter last spring before need forced the Rangers to move him back into the closer's role. General manager Jon Daniels said that if Feliz is going to be a starter, they will know that before going into spring training. A full spring would give him time to develop other pitches to go along with his 100-mph fastball. If he can do that, he has the potential to vault to the top of the rotation pecking order. Why he makes sense: A deep free-agent market for closers gives the Rangers options. The Rangers could sign another closer for less money than it would cost to sign a starter, making the move a fiscally wise one. 6. RHP Scott Feldman Feldman makes the most sense if the Rangers want to keep things the way they are. They could keep Feliz in the bullpen and put Feldman in the rotation, which is where he wants to be. He showed flashes of his 2009 self (17 victories) in the postseason and the Rangers are on the hook for 6.5 million for Feldman in 2012. The problem is that if Feldman pitches like he did in 2010 when knee problems and inconsistency led to a lost rotation spot, then the Rangers are in scramble mode. That's not the place a World Series contender wants to be when it comes to starting pitching. Why he makes sense: If the Rangers are going to spend money on position players and not pitching, this could be the way to go. Feldman is a ground ball pitcher when he's on, which is something that's advantageous at Rangers Ballpark where the balls fly and the Rangers have a great infield defense.
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