Feb 242012
 

Josh may not owe the Rangers, but...“I love Texas. I love my fans. I love fans of the Rangers. I love the organization. I love my teammates. I love everything about it. But I’m not going to sit here and say that I owe the Rangers. I don’t feel like I owe the Rangers.”

If you’re reading this, you’re more than than  likely a Rangers fan.  If you’re not, you can still relate – imagine your favorite team’s biggest star saying these words.  How does that statement make you feel?

Josh Hamilton sat down with media earlier today and issued the statement above (video below).  To level set here, this wasn’t all Josh said, nor was it the only topic that he discussed…rather just a snippet, but one that many fans and media members clung to.  Richard Durrett (ESPNDallas) details the full press conference here if interested.

When you get right down to it, this is a business, and Josh is right – he doesn’t owe the Rangers anything.  They have a contract that both parties agreed to.  Josh is being paid to play baseball.  The Rangers are paying for his services.  In the same vein, you could say that the Rangers don’t owe Josh anything.

So, while the statement isn’t false, it’s not easy to hear for Rangers fans.  Clearly this statement was Josh’s counter to the opinion that he should give the Rangers a “friendly discount” for standing by his side during his relapses, which has been written and talked about often by local media and fans.

It’s just not the right thing to say.

Josh is under a ton of pressure right now, and should be thankful for Yu Darvish’s presence in Spring Training, as it’s diverting some of the media attention.  If there were no Yu, the media at Spring Training would certainly be following Josh’s every move and clamoring to get anything and everything out of him regarding his recent relapse and personal life.

All we know about the night of his relapse is what he has shared with us – the rest is just word of mouth or rumors.  I say this to point out that we don’t really know about the stress which the events of that night truly put on his life and the relationships in his life.  Josh is probably feeling like he is under attack to some degree right now, which could explain this defensive statement.

In addition, as he has pointed out in the past, Josh doesn’t script his press conferences or interviews, which can lead to off-the-cuff statements like this one.  I’m sure it seemed harmless at the time.  I’m sure as Josh thought about the statement for that brief second before he actually uttered the words, he saw nothing wrong with it.  I don’t mind that Josh is thinking that statement.  The realist in me understands that it’s a business, but I don’t want to hear it come out of his mouth.

Does this statement have any impact on the Rangers’ front office and their potential contract offer to Josh, whenever that may occur?  No.  While I think Jon Daniels would strongly agree that this was a poor choice of words and a potentially damning statement, he’ll separate the statement from the players ability to contribute to the team.

But, what about the court of public opinion?  In my opinion, this statement makes it a little easier for the Rangers to allow Josh Hamilton to leave in free agency after 2012.  This is a statement that could linger.

So am I defending Josh or slamming Josh?  Neither really.  At first, the statement upset me and to be completely honest, pissed me off a little.  I understand that Josh doesn’t owe the Rangers, but what about fans?  The fans the are the ones that are impacted by a statement like this.  For the Rangers and the players, it’s a business, but for the fans, it’s much more.

It’s acceptable to dislike what you heard Josh say today, and I’m not trying to sway you one way or another.  More than anything, I’m interested to hear what you think about Josh’s statement.  Leave a comment below or hit us up on Twitter (@baseballdo) or Facebook (Baseball Do Fanpage) and let us know.

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Here is the video (from the Star-Telegram’s Foul Territory Rangers Blog).  If  you haven’t seen it yet,  let’s do a little exercise.

Step 1 – Watch the video, be sure to have your speakers or headphones on.

Step 2 – Play the video again, but this time instead of watching it, just listen to it and look at the picture below.

Josh may not owe the Rangers, but...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3 – Ask yourself, would you have felt differently if C.J. Wilson would have made this same statement last year in Spring Training, heading into the final year of his contract?

 

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Feb 222012
 

A Closer Look at the CobraThere was some interesting banter earlier today on Twitter regarding Colby Lewis and his importance and value to this year’s rotation.  Lewis, barring injury, is more than likely going to be the Opening Day starter for the back-to-back defending American League champs, and the discussion was calling him out as possibly the most replaceable pitcher on the staff.  From time to time, the opening day honors don’t go to the most talented pitcher on the staff, but rather that honor can be granted to a pitcher with more tenure within the organization or one that has displayed some leadership.  Lewis is a perfect example of this. The fact that he was being brought up in the discussion has to do with the other options in the rotation than with Lewis himself, but it was enough to make me want to take closer look.

In 2011, Colby Lewis topped the 200 inning plateau for the second consecutive season, posting a 14-10 record with a 4.40 ERA.  For the most part, Colby’s numbers took a dip from 2010 across the board.

A Closer Look at the Cobra

Increased ERA and WHIP, with decreased strikeouts outweigh the benefits of decreased BB/9 and increased wins.  A helpful measurement to look at when comparing the two seasons is WAR (wins above replacement), which provides a measurement of value the player has to his team above a replacement level player (AAA).  In 2010, Lewis posted a 4.6 WAR, which dipped to 2.3 in 2011.  To put that into perspective, here is the 2011 WAR rating for a few of his peers:

  • C.J. Wilson – 5.9
  • Matt Harrison – 4.2
  • Derek Holland – 3.6
  • Colby Lewis – 2.3

While it’s always nice to see an increase in wins, the stat is too dependent upon the offense’s ability to provide run support.  When you take a closer look at Colby’s run support, it’s pretty clear he benefited greatly from the Rangers strong offensive performance.  In games started by Lewis where the Rangers scored 6 or more runs, Lewis had a 10-2 record with a 4.91 ERA.  In other words, he was still giving up too many runs in those games, but the Rangers bats had his back.

Another key stat to look at when reviewing Lewis’ performance in 2011 is FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) which measures what a player’s ERA should have looked like over a give time period, assuming that performance on balls in play and timing were league average.  FIP is a better way to assess a pitcher’s talent level, by looking at things a pitcher can control: strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches, and homeruns. In looking at 2011 stats, Lewis once again falls short of his peers:

  • C.J. Wilson – 3.24
  • Matt Harrison – 3.52
  • Derek Holland – 3.94
  • Colby Lewis – 4.54 (3.55 in 2010)

While I think we can expect the Rangers offense to provide ample run support again in 2012 and I don’t expect a big change in facets of the game that are outside of the pitcher’s control, Lewis needs to improve on the mound and return to some semblance of his 2010 form.

Given the fact that this is his final year under contract with the Rangers and the plethora of young talented pitchers he is competing with, Lewis needs to prove that he is not only the big-game, reliable, work-horse veteran (deserving of the 2012 Opening Day nod), but that he is also one of the best pitchers on this staff from a talent perspective.  If not, 2012 could very likely be the last season we see the Cobra in a Rangers uniform.

Baseball Do Prediction: Colby bounces back and improves upon his 2011 numbers, while not quite performing at his 2010 level.  We think Colby will maintain a spot in the rotation throughout 2012 and, barring injury, will once again be a dependable option down the stretch and in the postseason.

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Feb 182012
 

This is the final round of our American League West Position Rankings.  To see how we got to our current standings/scores, be sure to check out the first three round.

Score at the end of Round 3:

    1. Rangers: 53
    2. Angels: 49
    3. Mariners: 26
    4. Athletics: 22

The primary reason for doing a full review of the American League West, rather than a Rangers vs. Angels review, was to provide a better reference point for how a player truly stacks up against his peers.  That said, the Rangers and the Angels have dominated the top two spot at most positions (exceptions being DH and CF).  The final round will consist of all facets of each team’s pitching, including 5 rotation spots, relief and the closer position.  Similar to the adjustments we made to the scoring for Manager and DH, we’re going to increase the weighting for the relief position since that is made up of a handful of pitchers and not just one.

Starting Pitching

We’re going to go through the starting 5 for each team’s rotation and stack them up against each other.  In order to avoid making assumptions around the rotation order, I’m going to be the using the depth charts for each team that they have posted on their team’s website.  They seem to be pretty accurate as to what most would think, with the exception of a few.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

The Ace

  1. Jered Weaver, LAA
    1.  Felix Hernandez, SEA
  2. Colby Lewis, TEX
  3. Brandon McCarthy, OAK

Only real debate lies between the top two here, and I’ve gone back and forth on the order of these two guys quite a bit over the last few days.  It’s very close, but I give Weaver the slight edge, no I give it to Felix, no Weaver…you get the point.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final ScoresYou could debate for days over who will have a better year in 2012, and in the end, I think they will both have dominating years where they finish in the top 8 in Cy Young voting.  With that said, I’m going to give them both the top spot from a points perspective, and I’m going to give them both the bonus point.  It’s not a knock on Colby Lewis, it’s just how good these two guys are.

The #2

  1. Dan Haren, LAA
  2. Yu Darvish, TEX
  3. Dallas Braden, OAK
  4. Jason Vargas, SEA
2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final ScoresI’d love to give Yu the nod here, and this is one where I could dispute the order of the rotation, as I envision Darvish being the 3rd starter and Holland pitching 2nd, but it wouldn’t really matter, as Haren has an edge on both of them given the unknowns around Darvish and the need for continued development with Holland. While I think Darvish is capable of putting up similar numbers to what Haren delivered in 2011 (16 W’s, low 3 ERA, low WHIP), Haren has proven what he can do at the MLB level and takes the top spot here.Darvish takes the second spot in the rankings over a rehabbing Dallas Braden and a mediocre Jason Vargas.

You could make an argument for putting Vargas in the third spot, but I think Braden is the better pitcher if he can bounce back from injury successfully (and word is he is ahead of schedule).

The #3

  1. 2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final ScoresC.J. Wilson, LAA
  2. Derek Holland, TEX
  3. Brett Anderson, OAK
  4. Hisashi Iwakuma, SEA

This is another close race between the top two, and I know my fellow Ranger fans are throwing their hands up in the air as they look at the ranking, but if I put my bias aside and look at the two  pitchers, I lean towards C.J. having a slightly better campaign in 2012.

Baseball Do followers probably don’t want to hear this, but I think C.J. is going to improve slightly in 2012, primarily due to his new ballpark and being closer to home – which you could argue that his pitching ability isn’t really improving, but rather his conditions are.

I also believe that Holland is going to take the next step in his progression towards being a front-line MLB starter.  He showed flashes of brilliance last year down the stretch and of course in showing us all that he could one day be an Ace with his performance in Game 4 of the World Series.  All that said, he needs to prove that he can put a full season together, avoiding a slow start and showing more consistency.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

The #4

  1. Neftali Feliz, TEX
  2. Ervin Santana, LAA
  3. Blake Beavan, SEA
  4. Brad Peacock, OAK
Not going to spend a ton of time on these next two spots.  If you don’t already know how we feel about Feliz and what we expect from him production-wise in 2012, check out “The Other New Guy”.  Santana is a very good #4, but I think Feliz will have a better year.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

The #5

  1. Matt Harrison, TEX
  2. Jarrod Parker, OAK
  3. Jerome Williams, LAA
  4. Charlie Furbush, SEA
We all know how good of a pitcher Matt Harrison is, primarily because his case has been stated so often as a reason for not signing Roy Oswalt.  For many teams, he is easily a mid-rotation guy, and far outpaces the other three pitchers on this list, and for that get’s the bonus point.
I give Parker the edge over Williams on speculation of what Parker could become vs. what we know of Jerome Williams.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

Relief (not including Closer)

Given the importance of the bullpen and the fact the bullpen is generally made up of 6-8 pitchers, we are going to adjust the scoring for this position by multiplying it by two.

Keep in mind, that the names representing each team’s bullpen could change between now and Opening Day, and obviously by mid-season or season’s end.  That said, I’m going to try to avoid too much speculation with prospects and trades.

  1. Adams, Uehara (or maybe Mike Gonzalez…), Feldman, Ogando, Tateyama, Lowe – TEX
  2. Downs, Hawkins, Takahashi, Thompson, Cassevah, Bell, Mills, Jepsen – LAA
  3. Devine, Balfour, Fuentes, Wagner, Blevins, Carignan, Godfrey, De Los Santos – OAK
  4. Kelley, Wilhelmsen, Ruffin, Delabar, Sherrill, Jimenez – SEA
You could write an entire article breaking down the bullpens, but this is not the place.  The Rangers take the top spot primarily based on depth.  Downs and Adams are both top-notch set-up men, from there I think the depth of the Ranger bullpen gives them the edge.  They still need another left-handed specialist to replace Darren Oliver, which could be Mike Gonzalez, whom they are rumored to sign after they deal Koji Uehara.

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final ScoresCloser

  1. Brandon League, SEA
  2. Jordan Walden, LAA
  3. Joe Nathan, TEX
  4. Whoever, OAK
Three years ago, JoeNathan is the clear cut leader on this list and easily gets the bonus point.  That was then.  Now Nathan has something to prove, and while I’m fairly optimistic that Nathan will serve as a strong closer, I think Walden and League rank higher until Nathan proves it.I went back and forth between League and Walden for the top spot here.  League was better last year, and while I think Walden will get more saves than him in 2012, it’s going to be based on the fact that he will be presented with many more opportunities.  The better number to look at here is Save% (Saves/Opportunities), where League (88%) outshines Walden (76%) and I think he’ll continue to do so in 2012.

Final Score of the Baseball Do American League West Position Rankings

  1. Rangers: Score After 3 Rounds of 53 + 2 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 8 + 2 = 80
  2. Angels: Score After 3 Rounds of 49  + 5 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 6 + 3 = 76
  3. Mariners: Score After 3 Rounds of 26 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 4 = 42
  4. Athletics: Score After 3 Rounds of 22 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 36
There you have it.  On paper, according to Baseball Do, the Rangers should win the American League West in 2012.  And while I’m always on board with victory for the Rangers, the best part of all the time and work that went into these rankings and write-ups is that the games still have to be played on the field.

Keep in mind as well, that all four of these teams could look different by the trade deadline, with the Rangers and Angels both of some attractive pieces they could move in order improve, and the Mariners and Athletics have some attractive veterans they could deal in an effort to add youth.

My honest belief is that this is going to be one hell of a season for the Rangers and the Angels, which will come down to the final week, if the not the final 2-3 games.  The final series between the two is here in Arlington, September 28th through 30th, so get your tickets for those games now, as the entire season could hinge on those three games.  As fans, let’s just enjoy the ride.  A ride which will hopefully continue into the post-season for the Rangers and end with the ultimate reward…

‘case that’s the way baseball go…

2012 American League West by Position (Part 4)   Final Scores

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Dec 212011
 

Its all about Yu...The Rangers made the bold move.

They went out and got the rights to negotiate with the guy they wanted.  Was this the plan all along?  Was this part of the reason why we didn’t really compete for signing C.J. Wilson, or why we didn’t make a stronger push for Mark Buerhle?  Jon Daniels will never answer that question, nor should he, but it’s what I’m going to believe.

The Bid

$51.7 million.  The amount is fully refundable if a deal can’t be worked out in the next 30 days, which is standard for most Christmas shopping.  While I’m dropping $17.49 on a Harry Potter body pillow for Jasen, Nolan and team ownership dropped a little more on the exclusive rights to negotiate a contract with Yu.

The consensus was that Toronto had the highest bid, but that was based on posturing and not fact.  Daniels played this game perfectly, never tipping his hand one way or the other.  Remember, it’s a blind bid, so each organization had no idea what the competition was.  Sorry Canada.

Its all about Yu...While this was being dubbed as a “record posting”, and it was, it was only slightly above the $51.1 million posted by Boston in November 2006 for the rights to negotiate with Dice-K.  If you assume a 2.25% annual inflation rate (average of annual inflation rates since 2006) over that period, Dice-K’s inflation adjusted posting would be around $57.1 million.  Was the Dice-K posting absurd?  While his inaugural season with the BoSox was good (not great), the general consensus is that he has not lived up to the hype, nor the financial outlay Boston made in order to get him.  So, lesson learned and it helps in understanding why the winning bid for Darvish was not closer to the inflation adjusted Dice-K bid or higher.

There is a lot of debate over how this money counts toward the Rangers bottom-line, and in effect, their ability to pursue other free agents (Prince!).  From a fan’s standpoint, it’s all monopoly money anyways.  In the end, this is money that, assuming a contract is agreed upon and therefore the posting money is gone, is being spent this year,  that could have been used on other players.  That being said, you do not consider this towards next year’s payroll.  It is truly a one-time fee that, in my mind, you recoup through increased revenues from all the Rangers Darvish jerseys that are sold in Japan in the coming year.  It’s simply the price of doing business.

The Contract

It’s been rumored that Yu’s agents are looking for a contact in excess of what C.J. Wilson just received from the Angels ($77.5M/5 Years = avg. $15.5M/year).  That seems a little steep for a player that hasn’t pitched the in the majors yet.  In 2007, Dice-K got a $52M/6 year contact ($8.7M/year), with a $2m signing bonus and a no-trade clause.  Darvish has more hoopla surrounding him and seems to have more upside than what Dice-K had, so I think somewhere between what Dice-K got in 2007 and what C.J. got earlier this month is a nice range.

We’ve heard guesses of everywhere from $55M/5 to $90M/6.  Again, somewhere in the middle seems fair.

Baseball do says $77.5M/6 years.

The Player

Per Wiki, Yu is also known by the Persian name Farid, meaning “glorious”.  You don’t really need to know anything more than that, but just in case your interested…

Yu is a 6’5″, 220 lb 25 year old (will turn 26 in August) right-hander that features up to 7 pitches, with his primary pitches being his four-seam fastball and his slurve, which if you have viewed the “Career Highlights”  YouTube video below, is the pitch that buckles knees with a wicked break.

He’s the best in Japan, and it was time for his transition, which is seems to be excited about.  Stats from his time with the Ham Fighters below:

Its all about Yu...

Its all about Yu...

What’s interesting to note is the league ERA compared to what Darvish accomplished, especially over the last 5 seasons.  He was clearly performing at a much higher level than his counterparts.

Last thing that I think we’d be remiss to not bring up.  Yu is currently going through a divorce from his current wife, Saeko (pictured left).

Saeko is an actress and model.

They were married in 2007, in what Japanese tabloids reported as a good old-fashioned shot-gun wedding.

While we here at Baseball Do don’t believe this will impact his performance whatsoever, we needed a reason to include the picture.

The Future

This was a bold move.  Assuming an agreement is reached with Darvish, it’s a move, that at this point, will be the largest label on Jon Daniel’s tenure as Ranger’s GM whether you like it or not.  For it to be deemed a successful move, Darvish will have to exceed what Dice-K has done in his career (especially since he will probably be more heavily compensated), and will have to become a true ace for the Rangers.  If he does not, the further he is away from these marks will determine what impact it will have on the legacy of JD & company.

Only time will tell.

Just know this…Baseball Do is behind Yu.  <–sorry, but you knew I was going to go there at some point, right?

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Dec 132011
 

Baseball Do Podcast Episode 3It’s time to discuss 2nd base in our off-season position roundup…two words…trade bait??

Albert, C.J., Angels…screw’em…but we still have to talk about it.

And what about Yu? One of us thinks the Rangers will win the bid.

Check it out and chime in with your thoughts!

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Dec 082011
 

Good bye C.J.   Thanks and good...well, just thanks.It’s official.  The Angels have landed C.J. Wilson to the tune of $75M over 5 years.  He’s going home, and getting a very nice contract.  Can’t blame him, but still quite a bit of animosity towards him from Ranger fans, and it really started during the post-season and escalated to it’s peak today.  While I’m on board with this feeling, let’s not diminish what he did for this organization, especially over the last two seasons.

  • 2010: 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA, 170K and 93BB over 204IP, 7.5k/9IP
  • 2011: 16-7 with 2.94 ERA, 206K and 74BB over 223.1IP, 8.3k/9IP – improvements across the board; All-Star and 6th in AL Cy Young voting
He wasn’t a big game pitcher, which has been well documented (All-Star game loss, poor post-season showing), and you have to wonder if that is something that will always plague him, of if that’s something he can figure out.  I’m hopeful that we don’t get to see him show us either way.
With the signing of CJ and Pujols on the same day – arguably the top pitching free agent and without-a-doubt the top hitting free agent, the Angels have made quite a splash.  This doesn’t always carry over onto the field.  Only time will tell, but regardless, this only increases my excitement for Rangers baseball in 2012.
Trust in JD!
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Dec 082011
 

Pujos to Angels...The AL West just got a little more interesting as the Angels made the biggest splash of the off-season (and potentially of any off-season since Rangers signed A-Rod), by signing Albert Pujols to a 10 year contract, worth $250-260 million.

The Ranger’s arch-enemy has made a bold move, and they may not be finished, as they are still rumored to be the front runners for CJ Wilson.  I would have to think that they are pulling that offer off the table at this point given.  Pujols was a bigger need for CJ in my mind for that team, which makes this even worse for Ranger Nation.

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Dec 082011
 

Mildly Warm StoveBusy times at the winter meetings.  Things have been somewhat quiet on the Ranger front.  A few quick hits here, and then Jasen and I hope to get a new podcast up tomorrow night.

  • CJ Wilson is all but gone.  Expected to sign with the Angels today (5 year offer), with the Marlins still lurking in the background offering more years (6)
  • With Buerhle off the table (Marlins), this removes the two top FA starting pitchers from the market – have to think Yu or trade at this point.  If it’s trade, no reason to do it now…
  • We’re in on Fielder…we’re out on Fielder…we’re “stealthy” on Fielder…in the end, feels like we are probably out of the mix here, but you never know.
  • Yu Darvish expected to post today, and Rangers are considered to be one of three teams expected to make a serious bid – others being Blue Jays and Yankees.  I think the Yankees are the most realistic after watching Cashman on with the MLB Network crew last night.  He was very clear that the starting rotation is the #1 priority and something that they want to improve upon going into next season.
  • Angels snag Latroy Hawkins to help their bullpen – nothing major, but a nice acquisition.
  • Marlins continue to be rumored to be in on EVERY free agent – talk about putting it all on the line.
  • Hamilton wants a new contract prior to start of 2012 season.  Napoli does too, just don’t know that we’ve seen that put out their publicly.  Let’s hope Rangers can get both of these locked up.
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Dec 062011
 

WWJDD   What would Jon Daniels do?This time of year it always fun!  The speculation sometimes can be overwhelming, yet exhilarating at the same time.  And it’s nice when your team is involved in so much of the speculation, as the Rangers are.

With all the Hot Stove talk, I’m going to put my own plan/scenario out there for the 2012 Rangers.

  • Extend Mike Napoli – Arbitration eligible this year, and free to walk after 2012.  This guy became a fan favorite over the course of 4 months, and his development (at the plate and behind it) has been astounding.  Nap should be the full-time catcher (as discussed in Episode 1), and locking him up now might bring some savings rather than waiting until the end of 2012 when the Rangers would have to deal with signing him in free agency.
  • Extend Josh Hamilton – No need to elaborate on this one.  The guy has been a huge part of the resurgence and like Nap, is a fan favorite.  He needs to remain in a Ranger uniform throughout the remainder of his career for more reasons than production.
  • Sign Prince Fielder – I’d love to see $147MM – $160MM over 7 years, but given Prince’s agent and the competition in the bidding, it may require upwards of $190 over 8 years.  Prince will turn 28 this season, so that would lock him up through age 34-35, which should be right on the backslide of his prime years.
    I think this move makes sense long-term as Prince will be ready to slide to DH right around the time that Michael Young is ready to retire (3-4 seasons?), which could allow Nap to transition to 1B permanently at the age of 33-34, which should help preserve him offensively.
  • Trade David Murphy to Oakland for Andrew Bailey – may very well take a little more to make this happen, but I’d think it’d be a marginal prospect at best.  Oakland has said that they want an OF in return for Bailey, and while it you don’t see inter-divisional trades that often, I think this make sense for both clubs (given the moves above).  Bailey is another right handed arm in the bullpen (along with Adams and new closer Nathan), but gives you some insurance for Nathan and is someone that can close, so he could transition back into that role after 2013 when Nathan’s contract is up.
    This move would mean that Mitch Moreland needs to work as an OF more frequently to maintain his usefulness with the big league squad.  I think he’s capable.
  • Let the current starting pitching rotation ride…for now – I want to see how Feliz is going to work out in the rotation and how Holland, Harrison, Ogando and company are going to continue to develop before throwing a big contract at CJ Wilson or Mark Buerhle.  If we could get either of those guys at a good rate, I’d be all over it, but I think both are going to get contracts that are bigger than what the Rangers would be comfortable with.
    If Feliz is not working out or injuries decimate the staff, then make a bold move before the trade deadline.  The one thing the Rangers have a surplus of is strong prospects, which are better than money during mid-season deals.

I know this increases the payroll, but the time to strike is now, and the revenue generated over the last two seasons (playoff runs, increased fanbase) should be able to finance this.

Thoughts?  Post comments and let me know what you think.

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