Oct 252012
 
Mike Napoli 7

With Mike Napoli entering free agency and the Rangers silent (as expected) in regards to trying to bring him back, much off-season trade talk is centering around the backstop position.

On Monday, T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com) wrote:

Texas could have interest in J.P. Arencibia, who was the Toronto starter the past two seasons. Arencibia hit .233 with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs, a .275 on-base percentage and a .435 slugging percentage over 102 games.

The 26-year-old has two-plus years of Major League experience and is not yet eligible for arbitration. He missed six weeks in the second half with a broken right hand and only threw out 18.5 percent of attempted basestealers.

Thursday Sound Off   Whos catching in 2013?

J.P. Arencibia

Sullivan goes on to mention Derek Holland or Alexi Ogando as likely candidates to swap for Arencibia.

Another intriguing backstop from the Jays organization is top prospect Travis d’Arnaud, but I think it’s less likely that the Rangers trade for d’Arnaud unless they are able to secure a stop-gap catcher (Ryan Hanigan mentioned by Jamey Newberg) as well to hold the position until they are convinced he is ready for the majors.

As of now, assuming Napoli were to sign elsewhere and nothing else was done to address the position, Geovany Soto would be the starting catcher on Opening Day 2013.

A few things to note:

  • Napoli will be 31 years-old on Halloween and there have been contract numbers estimated in the range of 4-6 years at $50-$80 million.
  • The 26 year-old Arencibia isn’t eligible for free agency until 2017.
  • Ogando and Holland are both under control through 2016, with a team option on Holland for ’17 and ’18.
  • Other catchers on the free agent market: Russell Martin, A.J. Pierzynski (die), David Ross, Gerald Laird, Kelly Shoppach.

A look at the numbers:

J.P. Arencibia

Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 24 TOR 11 35 3 5 1 0 2 4 2 11 .143 .189 .343 .532
2011 25 TOR 129 443 47 97 20 4 23 78 36 133 .219 .282 .438 .720
2012 26 TOR 102 347 45 81 16 0 18 56 18 108 .233 .275 .435 .710
3 Yrs 242 825 95 183 37 4 43 138 56 252 .222 .275 .433 .708
162 Game Avg. 162 552 64 123 25 3 29 92 37 169 .222 .275 .433 .708
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Mike Napoli

Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2006 24 LAA 99 268 47 61 13 0 16 42 51 90 .228 .360 .455 .815
2007 25 LAA 75 219 40 54 11 1 10 34 33 63 .247 .351 .443 .794
2008 26 LAA 78 227 39 62 9 1 20 49 35 70 .273 .374 .586 .960
2009 27 LAA 114 382 60 104 22 1 20 56 40 103 .272 .350 .492 .842
2010 28 LAA 140 453 60 108 24 1 26 68 42 137 .238 .316 .468 .784
2011 29 TEX 113 369 72 118 25 0 30 75 58 85 .320 .414 .631 1.046
2012 30 TEX 108 352 53 80 9 2 24 56 56 125 .227 .343 .469 .812
7 Yrs 727 2270 371 587 113 6 146 380 315 673 .259 .356 .507 .863
162 Game Avg. 162 506 83 131 25 1 33 85 70 150 .259 .356 .507 .863
LAA (5 yrs) 506 1549 246 389 79 4 92 249 201 463 .251 .346 .485 .831
TEX (2 yrs) 221 721 125 198 34 2 54 131 114 210 .275 .379 .552 .931
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Derek Holland

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS CG IP H HR BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009 22 TEX 8 13 6.12 33 21 1 138.1 160 26 47 107 1.496 3.1 7.0 2.28
2010 23 TEX 3 4 4.08 14 10 0 57.1 55 6 24 54 1.378 3.8 8.5 2.25
2011 24 TEX 16 5 3.95 32 32 4 198.0 201 22 67 162 1.354 3.0 7.4 2.42
2012 25 TEX 12 7 4.67 29 27 0 175.1 162 32 52 145 1.221 2.7 7.4 2.79
4 Yrs 39 29 4.71 108 90 5 569.0 578 86 190 468 1.350 3.0 7.4 2.46
162 Game Avg. 13 10 4.71 37 31 2 195 199 30 65 161 1.350 3.0 7.4 2.46
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Alexi Ogando

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
2010 26 TEX 4 1 1.30 44 0 0 0 41.2 31 2 16 39 1.128 3.5 8.4
2011 27 TEX 13 8 3.51 31 29 1 0 169.0 149 16 43 126 1.136 2.3 6.7
2012 28 TEX 2 0 3.27 58 1 0 3 66.0 49 9 17 66 1.000 2.3 9.0
3 Yrs 19 9 3.12 133 30 1 3 276.2 229 27 76 231 1.102 2.5 7.5
162 Game Avg. 8 4 3.12 55 13 0 1 115 96 11 32 96 1.102 2.5 7.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Others if interested: Russell Martin, A.J. Pierzynski (die), David Ross, Gerald Laird, Kelly Shoppach

So, there are a few options in regards to the 2013 backstop.  What do you think?  Vote on the poll and sound off in the comments section.

What do you think the Rangers should do in regards to the catcher position this off-season?
Resign Napoli (4-6 yrs. @ $13-15M per)
Trade Holland for Arencibia
Trade Ogando for Arencibia
Sign stop-gap and trade for prospect
Roll with Soto
Other (add comments)
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Jul 032012
 
Oswalt-sharp-in-first-start-of-the-season-GQ1NTKTC-x-large

Chris Sale vs. Roy Oswalt, a Rangers/White Sox PreviewAfter winning 7-of-10 during their recent home stand, the A.L. West-leading Texas Rangers arrived in the Windy City yesterday for a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox, the first-place club of the A.L. Central.

Unlike the Rangers, the White Sox have been quite a surprise this season. Less than a month ago, they lost their erstwhile ace—and former top Rangers’ prospect—John Danks, for the season due to a shoulder injury.

The A.L. Central is a weak division, but the ChiSox have taken advantage of said disparities thanks to a balanced team that is currently ranked eighth in the A.L. in batting average (.256), and sixth in team ERA (3.96).

The White Sox hold a 2 1/2 game lead over the resurgent Cleveland Indians and a 3 1/2 game lead over the severely underachieving Detroit Tigers.

Although coming off of a disappointing 3-1 loss last Sunday, the Rangers find themselves at 20 games over .500, good enough for the best record in Major League Baseball.

Roy Oswalt makes his third start for the Rangers and his first on the road this year. The White Sox counter with 23-year-old Chris Sale, a left-hander that has blossomed into one of the finest southpaws in the league.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineups:

Chicago White Sox (42-37, L 10: 6-4)

CF Alejandro De Aza
3B Kevin Youkilis
DH Adam Dunn
1B Paul Konerko
RF Alex Rios
C A.J. Pierzynski
LF Dayan Viciedo
SS Alexi Ramirez
2B Gordon Beckham

VS

RHP Roy Oswalt (2-0, 4.26 ERA, 1.97 WHIP, 8.5 K/9…15.6 H/9)

Oswalt most definitely loves pitching for the Texas Rangers. After giving up 22 hits over his first two starts—a career-high 13 last Wednesday against Detroit—Oswalt is 2-0 thanks to the potent Rangers offense.

I’m not concerned about The Wizard of Os, however. After all, without the benefit of Spring Training, we can’t reasonably expect Oswalt to be in top form any sooner than August at the earliest. Oswalt’s true value will be predicated by his potential impact come the postseason, should the Rangers make it into October for a third-straight season.

Regardless, like all Rangers’ fans, I want to watch him win now—and so far, so good on that front.

Over his 11-year career, Oswalt has gone 73-55 with a 3.45 ERA on the road. At Chicago’s US Cellular Field, the Os has a 2.57 ERA over his seven innings of work there.

Since his hits surrendered thus far are unbelievably high, and two starts is a teeny sample size, there’s no need to mention that right-handers are batting .414 off of him, and left-handers .370. Whoops

Let’s go with his career platoon splits, which are much less terrifying—LHB: .263/.309/.387, and .248/.296/.386 against RHB.

Texas Rangers (50-30, L 10: 7-3)

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Mitch Moreland
C Yorvit Torrealba
CF Craig Gentry

VS

LHP Chris Sale (9-2, 2.27 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 8.9 K/9)

Sale, a former 2010 first-round pick by the White Sox made his big league debut just two months after Chicago selected him with the thirteenth overall pick.

Used exclusively as a reliever prior to this season, Sale has been outstanding as a starter for the ChiSox over his 15 starts.

Sale’s home/road splits are equally intimidating. Sale is undefeated on the road (5-0, 2.85 ERA) and while his two losses on the year have come at US Cellular Field, his 1.69 ERA their is one of the finest in the league.

So sound has Sale been during the first half, that both left-handed and right-handed batters tend to return to their dugouts after uttering an ample amount of curse words to themselves.

Southpaws produce the slash line of: .184/.229/.255 with zero home runs. Right-handed hitters go: .204/.264/.318 with just five home runs.

As a team, the Texas Rangers are batting just .182 against him, but this will mark the first time they have faced him as a starter.

Notes:

• Way back in April, the Texas Rangers took two-of-three from the White Sox, with Joe Nathan blowing a lead and taking the “L” during their only loss. It will be interesting to see how Nathan handles Alex Rios this go-round—should the two faceoff once again.

• Chicago acquired third baseman Kevin Youkilis late last week from the Boston Red Sox. “The Youk” has never faced Roy Oswalt, but has a career slash line of: .319/.407/.524 against the Rangers over his career…

• White Sox catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, more famous for being a loudmouthed a-hole than for anything he’s ever done on the field, has a chance to apologize to Rangers skipper Ron Washington face-to-face, starting tonight.

Pierzynski made incredibly short-sided and overtly ignorant statements regarding his All-Star “snubbing” by Wash, the A.L.’s skipper for the second-straight season…I’m willing to bet Pierzynski will do nothing of the sort.

Go Rangers!

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