Look for Rangers to roll dice on low-risk deal

Texas has history of taking chances on former stars

Look for Rangers to roll dice on low-risk deal

ARLINGTON -- Want one bold, off-the-wall prediction for the Rangers before the offseason is over? Want one transaction that nobody sees coming and takes everybody by surprise?

One that is possibility, if not totally realistic.

Well ... here it is:

The Rangers are going to sign one true superstar before the winter is over. They are going to sign one player with a glittering resume that includes trophies, All-Star Game appearances and knee-buckling statistics.

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The caveat is it has been a few years or more since this superstar did all of those wonderful things and it's a longshot that he will do it again.

That's not much of a prediction, is it?

Actually, it's more of a reminder.

It's a reminder that the Rangers have been known to take a chance on a player who was once really good but has fallen from grace either from poor performance, injury, age or declining skills.

It's the famous, "low-risk, high-reward" contract that often gets done in late January, early February or in the first days of Spring Training. The Rangers have done it before, and this might be the right offseason to do it again.

Maybe it's a pitcher who is similar to those they have added in the past, like Roy Oswalt, Brandon Webb, Derek Lowe, Kyle Lohse or Jeremy Guthrie, or an offensive player similar to Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Andruw Jones, Lance Berkman, Drew Stubbs, Omar Vizquel or Carlos Pena.

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Sometimes these things work out, sometimes they don't. But if the contract is right, why not take a chance to see if Ryan Howard or Justin Morneau can still at least form part of a platoon at first base/designated hitter?

Why not see if Tim Lincecum or Jered Weaver still have enough moxie to get hitters out even if they don't have the stuff they once did as No. 1 starters? Why not see if Greg Holland or Joe Nathan can still get three outs in the late innings?

How about signing Jose Bautista as their DH or C.J. Wilson for their rotation. All right, that may be too outrageous. Bautista, Public Enemy No. 1 around here, would be pushing the clubhouse thing way too far.

Wilson did have his own tempestuous career with the Rangers. He was also the Rangers Pitcher of the Year during their two World Series seasons, but why quibble over trivial matters?

OK, try this:

Chase Utley.

He is 38, but he is a left-handed hitter who can play first, second or third base, and he's a six-time All-Star who has been in the postseason seven times. He is the kind of veteran leader who would fit in well in the clubhouse.

There is a good chance the Rangers will do something bold before this winter is over. They often do.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.