Do you think David Murphy will still be here after the Trade Deadline? It seems to me that Murph would be the best trade option for a bullpen arm with a crowded outfield.
-- Seth O. Arlington
The Rangers would almost certainly consider a trade that sends Murphy to another team and a quality reliever coming in return. The Rangers would be reinforcing their bullpen and be able to call up Chris Davis from Triple-A Round Rock. When Murphy is swinging the bat well as he did in the second half of last season, he is a valuable commodity at a time when the quality of offensive production from outfielders is way down all through the big leagues. But so is Murphy's production this season, although he has always been a strong second-half player. It is something for the Rangers to consider, although Murphy's trade value appears down at this point.
How often do Major League hitters use video replay in the clubhouse to try to make adjustments against a pitcher during a game?
-- Mike R. Dallas
Michael Young answered your question: "I look at every at-bat. Some guys are different. Some guys will look at the strike zone. I try to look at every at-bat. I do it whether I'm playing the field or not. If you hit one inning, chances are you're not going to hit the next inning and you have time."
How much longer is Ian Kinsler under contract? Do you see the Rangers letting him walk or trade him when and if they feel Jurickson Profar is ready for the Majors?
-- Brad M. Abilene, Texas
Kinsler is signed through next season and the Rangers hold a $10 million club option for 2013. As seen with Young, nobody is sacred when it comes to switching positions or being included in trade discussions with other teams. But Profar is just beginning to emerge as a prospect and still hasn't cleared the Double-A hurdle yet so anything would be prematurely speculative.
I've heard rumors that the Rangers might not have the financial means nor the desire to try to bring Josh Hamilton back following the 2012 season. Is there any truth to this rumor? If so, what would possibly be a better alternative?
-- Ty C. Lubbock, Texas
The Rangers certainly appear to have the means to sign Hamilton, given all the money they are spending in international amateur signings. The degree of desire will depend on his continued production and ability to stay healthy. When healthy he is easily one of the two or three best players in the game. Maybe one alternative is moving Kinsler to the outfield the way the Nationals did with Alfonso Soriano. But the Rangers know what Hamilton means to the franchise.
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What are the Rangers' chances of going after Ubaldo Jimenez before the Trade Deadline?
-- Aaron N. Abernathy, Texas
Jimenez is attractive to a number of teams because of his ability and a favorable contract. He is signed through 2012 at reasonable numbers, with club options for '13 and '14. Since the All-Star break in 2010, he is 9-15 with a 3.95 ERA, although he is 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA in his last six starts. The Rangers are willing to explore any possibility, but if the Rockies do trade him, there will be many teams interested.
Is there any chance the Rangers land Clayton Kershaw from Los Angeles? Has there been any conversation at all? I think he'd be ideal because he is young, meaning they would have a shot to lock him up long term. In addition, I know he is from this area, so I'd think Clayton would be for it.
-- Alex M. Carrollton, Texas
The Rangers would back up the truck for him, but it's hard to imagine the Dodgers -- even in their situation -- moving a premium left-handed pitcher who still hasn't been to arbitration yet. He still has three years to go before free agency, so unless the Dodgers are completely destitute it would seem Kershaw is a keeper.
In recent years, a lot of Major League teams have been bringing in Japanese players to the United States. There are a lot of extremely talented players in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). For example, Dae Ho Lee last season hit .365 with 44 home runs. Does Texas have any chance of recruiting such players?
-- Jaewoong C. Austin, Texas
Lee certainly has impressive numbers, although he is a third baseman and the Rangers are set there with Adrian Beltre. The Rangers are pushing hard into the area of Pacific Rim scouting and Korea is most certainly a part of that. The Rangers would go to Paraguay, Uzbekistan or Timbuktu if there were players available.
This year, Young has batted anywhere from the No. 3 spot to the No. 6 spot in the lineup. Even if Elvis Andrus or Kinsler is hurt or taking the day off, Young is not batting on top. Last year, Young was a staple at No. 2 in the lineup and we went to the World Series for the first time in team history. Why fix what ain't broke?
-- Casey B. Fort Worth
The primary reason for moving Young into the middle of the order was to help make up for the loss of Vladimir Guerrero. That was the break that needs fixing and why Young is where he is at in the lineup.
As a lifelong Rangers fan who now lives outside St. Louis, how likely do you think it is for the Rangers to play at Busch Stadium next year? I believe it's the only location in the Majors they have yet to visit.
-- Julie B. Wentzville, Mo.
The schedule hasn't been released yet. One would think that the Rangers are due for a trip to St. Louis, but it is more likely time for them to play out West again.
Is there any chance of the All-Star Game being held at Rangers Ballpark in the near future? After all, they did get to the World Series last year.
-- Margie M. Perryville, Texas
The Rangers hosted the All-Star Game in 1995. If you go in a chronological rotation, there are six teams ahead of them: Rays, Athletics, Royals, Twins, Blue Jays and Orioles. So that leaves the Rangers looking at 2024. But it could be sooner if Major League baseball isn't inclined to go to Tampa Bay, Oakland or Toronto without new facilities. It could be later if baseball isn't inclined to have another All-Star Game in the North Texas summer heat.
The Rangers obviously have a need for back of the bullpen help and have an over-abundance of catchers and first basemen. What would you say to a deal for either Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan or the Giants' Madison Bumgarner for Chris Davis or Taylor Teagarden?
-- Ryan A. Plano, Texas
You bring up Bumgarner with the Giants and they will want to talk about Andrus. As for the Pirates, first-place teams don't give away All-Star closers, and they were in first place just a few days ago.
What is up with Chad Tracy in Round Rock? Seems to me he used to be a premier prospect but has since fallen off a bit. What are the odds we see him helping out in Arlington anytime soon?
-- Pablo G. Irving Texas
He is having another strong season at Triple-A Round Rock. But he is a right-handed-hitting first baseman/designated hitter in an organization with Young and Mike Napoli at the big league level. Plus, if the Rangers have a need at this point, Davis is going to get the call.
When is the deadline to sign Draft picks?
-- Travis H. Benbrook, Texas
Aug. 15. The big one to watch is outfielder Derek Fisher, a sixth round pick out of Cedar Creek (Pa.) High School. He has committed to the University of Virginia. He has a chance to be a power-hitting outfield prospect if the Rangers can get him done by then. But there may be less urgency after the two 16-year-old Dominican outfielders signed earlier this month: Nomar Mazara and Ronaldo Guzman.
Heard one of Mets broadcasters suggest Houston will be in the AL West next year. Why? That stinks. Mets and Yanks aren't in the same league. Cubs and White Sox aren't either. Marlins and Rays aren't or San Francisco and Oakland. I'd rather it was the Brewers that moved to balance the divisions. Agree?
-- Michael B. Plano, Texas
Brewers move to the AL Central and then move the Cleveland Indians to the AL East. Then you move to the Tampa Bay Rays to Las Vegas and switch them to the AL West. Presto! You have the desired balance and three trips to Vegas a year.