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2016 MLB roster outlook: Texas Rangers

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2016 MLB roster outlook: Texas Rangers

2015 record: 88-74, 1st place in AL West

Manager: Jeff Banister, 2nd season

Estimated 2016 payroll: $156.2 million

Key additions: OF/SS Ian Desmond, RP Tom Wilhemsen, OF Justin Ruggiano

Key losses: SP Yovani Gallardo, 1B Mike Napoli, OF Leonys Martin

Projected lineup

CF Delino DeShields, Jr.
RF Shin-Soo Choo
DH Prince Fielder
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Mitch Moreland
LF Ian Desmond
2B Rougned Odor
SS Elvis Andrus
C Robinson Chirinos

Projected rotation

LHP Cole Hamels
RHP Yu Darvish
LHP Derek Holland
RHP Colby Lewis
LHP Martin Perez

Top relievers

CL Shawn Tolleson
RHP Keone Kela
RHP Tom Wilhelmsen

Biggest questions entering 2016

1. Will Hamels and Darivsh be a dominant duoThe Rangers took off in the second half of the 2015 season after acquiring ace Cole Hamels in a trade with the Phillies and went all the way to Game 5 of the ALCS before Jose Bautista bat flipped them out of the playoffs. That run was put together without Yu Darvish, one of their best players. Darvish missed the 2015 season after having Tommy John surgery, but is now on his road back. The potential of Hamels and Darvish as a 1-2 combination has a lot of baseball fans excited, as they could form the best rotation duo in the game. If Texas can get back to the postseason, no one will want to face those two to begin a series. That is, of course, assuming Darvish can make a full recovery. The odds are much better than they used to be, but you never know until the guy takes the mound again.

2. Can they hold off the AstrosThe Rangers pulled away late to capture the AL West division title, barely edging the Houston Astros who won 86 games and qualified for the playoffs. The Rangers took the division with 88 wins, but it may take much more than that in 2016. The Astros appear to be a team on the rise with a young team and some nice additions made this winter. Can the Rangers make enough of a leap to repeat as division champs? It should be one of the more entertaining pennant races to watch this season.

3. Can they improve their pitching? Getting Darvish back should help Texas improve their pitching, which was a relative weakness in 2015. The Rangers placed 23rd in team ERA, 21st in rotation ERA and 24th in bullpen ERA. It cost Mike Maddux his job as pitching coach, as he has now moved on to the Nationals. Now Doug Brocail will take over the Rangers' staff hoping for much better results. The Rangers gave up 733 runs in 2015, which was nearly a 100 runs more than what they allowed in 2013 (636), for instance. That has to change.

[Roster info via RosterResource.com]

[RELATED: Nationals trade Tyler Moore to Braves for 1B Freiman]

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

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Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

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