Jul 252012
 
portraitoffuturestarters copy

Texas Trade Rumors: With Cole Hamels off the board, will it be Josh Johnson, or Zack Greinke?

“You mean I’m going to be traded to a team with postseason aspirations?! Hells yeah I’m cool with that!”

Cole Hamels will not be coming to Arlington after all. Evidently he wants to languish in last place with Philadelphia. And per various reports, he has about 144 million reasons why.

Here’s a look at some pitchers that are on the Rangers’ radar. You can call them “trade possibilities” or, better yet, potential agents serving the noble cause also know as the “Scott Feldman to Playoff Rotation Protection Program.” SFiPRPP if you’re so inclined.

Clifton Phifer Lee

Yeah, hard to believe a dude from Benton, Arkansas has the middle name of “Phifer,” huh? Yeah, not really. Kind of shocking that it’s not his first name.

”Phifer! Gramma is out of pseudoephedrine for her crystal meth. Here’s some cash, now you hitch on down to Allsup’s and gather her up some, y’hear? Get me a pack of Pall Malls too, hon.”

Look, I don’t think Cliff Lee is going anywhere. I’m also convinced that his Arkansas kin aren’t meth manufacturers—it’s not like he’s from Missouri.

Seriously, Lee’s exorbitant contract makes him far less movable than Michael Young, even back when The Face could still hit.

Phifer’s owed $75 million over the next three seasons (not counting this one), plus a vesting option of $27.5 million in 2016 (insert ear-rattling whistle here.)

Lee will be 34-years-old next month. At his current age of 33, he’s giving up home runs to pitchers. Also, he hasn’t won a postseason game since he beat the Yankees in the 2010 American League Championship Series…

You still want him over here?

Yeah, me too.

Since the Rangers probably won’t snatch the far-fetched Lee, with whom do they have left to choose?

Zack Greinke—The “Section 8”
What do you think, R. Lee Ermey?

Texas Trade Rumors: With Cole Hamels off the board, will it be Josh Johnson, or Zack Greinke?

“Greinke’s a section 8! Plus there’s no damn ‘k’ in ‘Zachary,’ so what gives with the ‘Zack’ thing?!”


I’m sure we’ve all seen Full Metal Jacket. Rather than a fully loaded M14 rifle (as well as a crippling case of insanity), Greinke comes equipped with a 98 MPH fastball, wipeout slider and a slight Social Anxiety Disorder.

As a baseball fan, I love Zack Greinke—even if his full name is “Zachary” which has nary a “k” in it. But as a Rangers fan, I’m a little iffy on selling the farm to get him to Arlington.

He’s a strange cat. Last night, he pitched brilliantly, went dong-city on Cliff Lee and did it all on 11 days of rest. Evidently, he needed to “recharge his batteries.” Hmmph.

Greinke’s downside is that he hasn’t had the playoff experience of Cole Hamels. And he certainly hasn’t seen the postseason success of the 2008 World Series MVP.

Plus, why can someone with such an unbelievable arsenal not dominate no matter the domicile?

Greinke’s home/road splits over his career are perplexing. Home: 51-28, 3.42 ERA, 4.12 SO/BB ratio. Road: 34-48, 4.18 ERA, 3.05 SO/BB ratio. Hmmm.

And in the playoffs, Greinke’s been hit hard. It’s a small sample size, but in his three career postseason starts (all of which came last season…the Royals don’t play in October, silly), he’s gone 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA.

Regardless, I’d love to see Greinke in a Rangers uniform. He’s already turned down a nine-figure deal from Milwaukee, so you know he’s up for a change. Now it’s just up to JD to pull the trigger.

Josh Johnson—Mr. Glass

Texas Trade Rumors: With Cole Hamels off the board, will it be Josh Johnson, or Zack Greinke?

They call him…”Mr. Glass.” Okay, just me. But still.


Josh Johnson is a stud, and possesses every skill you (or anybody else) would want from a TORP.

Upper-90s fastball, with an excellent slider. He grew up just outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, so you know he understands how awesome Texas is.

Plus, at 6’ 7” and 250 pounds, Johnson is a dude you want on your side when the shit goes down—be it down the stretch, in the playoffs, or in the parking lot of the local Whataburger.

So what’s the downside? Well, he’s often-injured. He’s already had Tommy John surgery—who hasn’t, right?—and various shoulder issues forced him to be shutdown in 2010, and to miss most of 2011.

I’m all for a Josh Johnson pick up. Even though he has a checkered injury past, if he could just stay 100% this season—that might be all the Rangers need for the ultimate postseason prize…

Other possibilities…

Matt Garza: The Rangers have been interested in Garza for a number of years. He’s an enchanting option, since, like Johnson, he has another year of control.

James Shields: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are supposedly hot and heavy over Mr. Shields. The Rangers should acquire him and them dump him in Oakland…just so the A’s will win enough games to keep the Angels from making the playoffs.

Mwahahahahahahaha!

The Tampa Bay Rays aren’t exactly out of the A.L. East race, and with Joe Maddon at the helm, I’m not sure you can ever dismiss them…the Rays might not want to move Shields anywhere.

And that’s cool with me, as long as those dang Angels don’t snag him (or anything other than missed opportunities.)

The non-move move

It’s definitely not the sexiest of moves. The “non-move,” that is. But there is word that the Rangers are willing to slide Ogando back into the rotation. Not only would this create a viable playoff rotation, it would also keep our fantastic farm system and its bevy of prospects intact.

Texas could then focus on picking up some far less expensive bullpen pieces, and making a postseason go with their rotation “as is.”

Forecast

In true Ron Washington fashion, my “gut” tells me that the Rangers are going to acquire a pitcher sometime between now and next Tuesday’s non-waiver deadline.

Wow, I’m really going out on a limb, eh?

I tend to agree with Joey Matches in that the Mike Olt for Josh Johnson trade speculation is long on mutual benefits…it could definitely happen.

After all of the rampant rumors and spine-tingling speculations, it’d be hard to “settle” for a non-move. It’d be a letdown similar to car shopping with crappy credit—look at all the cool stuff we’re not getting!

But an even tougher sell than remaining static would be a playoff rotation with a name like “Scott Feldman” in it.

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Jul 252012
 
Cliff Lee 2

Just the thought of Cliff Lee back in a Rangers uniform brings chills.  Cliff was at the heart of what was the most magical season in franchise history.  Many years from now, even if the Rangers have multiple World Champion flags flying in the Ballpark, we’ll always think back on 2010 as the turning point – and what a vital role Cliff Lee played in that season.

Could the Rangers really bring Lee back just two seasons later?  Who’s the Smoak and Beavan of 2012 that could lure Lee away from his current squad?

With the Phillies and Cole Hamels finally reaching a long-term agreement, the Phillies may look to move Lee to free up some funds and plug some holes with young talent.

Clifton Phifer Lee

The Player

Potential Trade Target Profile: Cliff Lee

While it’s not even certain that the Phillies are shopping the left handed veteran pitcher, it makes sense that they would at least field offers given their positioning in the NL East race (as noted in the Hamels profile).  With Hamels garnering a larger contract than Lee, and the hopes of much good coming out of 2012, the Phillies could deal Lee in hopes of refocusing those funds during the off-season and adding some young talent to prepare for the future.

Unlike both Hamels and Greinke, Lee would not be merely a rental since he is under contract through 2015 with a vesting option for 2016.  So, one could assume that the asking price, similar to the Justin Upton scenario, would be higher.

Lee is a three-time All-Star and has finished in the top seven of Cy Young voting four times in his career (2005, 2008, 2010, 2011).  He was also the 2008 AL Comeback Player of the Year after bouncing back from sub-par campaigns in both 2006 & 2007.

Lee is making $21.5M in 2012 and will be paid $25M/year between 2013 and 2015. The 2016 vesting option would pay Lee $27.5M.  Lee is 33 years-old now, so the contact carries him through age 36 unless the vesting option is picked up, in which case it would take him through age 37.

Lee has been involved in four big trades in his career, three of which he was the prized centerpiece.

  • June 27, 2002: Traded by the Montreal Expos with Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens to the Cleveland Indians for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew.
  • July 29, 2009: Traded by the Cleveland Indians with Ben Francisco to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson.
  • December 16, 2009: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Seattle Mariners for J.C. Ramirez, Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies.
  • July 9, 2010: Traded by the Seattle Mariners with Mark Lowe and cash to the Texas Rangers for Matthew Lawson, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke and Justin Smoak.

Cliff Lee is an “Ace” and would fit the bill as the front line starter that the Rangers desire.

The Measurables

 

Year Age Tm W L ERA G CG IP H HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP SO/BB
2002 23 CLE 0 1 1.74 2 0 10.1 6 0 8 6 260 1.355 0.75
2003 24 CLE 3 3 3.61 9 0 52.1 41 7 20 44 122 1.166 2.20
2004 25 CLE 14 8 5.43 33 0 179.0 188 30 81 161 80 1.503 1.99
2005 26 CLE 18 5 3.79 32 1 202.0 194 22 52 143 111 1.218 2.75
2006 27 CLE 14 11 4.40 33 1 200.2 224 29 58 129 102 1.405 2.22
2007 28 CLE 5 8 6.29 20 1 97.1 112 17 36 66 72 1.521 1.83
2008 29 CLE 22 3 2.54 31 4 223.1 214 12 34 170 167 1.110 5.00
2009 30 TOT 14 13 3.22 34 6 231.2 245 17 43 181 131 1.243 4.21
2009 30 CLE 7 9 3.14 22 3 152.0 165 10 33 107 135 1.303 3.24
2009 30 PHI 7 4 3.39 12 3 79.2 80 7 10 74 124 1.130 7.40
2010 31 TOT 12 9 3.18 28 7 212.1 195 16 18 185 133 1.003 10.28
2010 31 SEA 8 3 2.34 13 5 103.2 92 5 6 89 168 0.945 14.83
2010 31 TEX 4 6 3.98 15 2 108.2 103 11 12 96 113 1.058 8.00
2011 32 PHI 17 8 2.40 32 6 232.2 197 18 42 238 160 1.027 5.67
2012 33 PHI 1 6 3.72 16 0 111.1 107 11 22 106 107 1.159 4.82
11 Yrs 120 75 3.65 270 26 1753.0 1723 179 414 1429 116 1.219 3.45
162 Game Avg. 15 10 3.65 34 3 222 219 23 53 181 116 1.219 3.45
CLE (8 yrs) 83 48 4.01 182 10 1117.0 1144 127 322 826 108 1.312 2.57
PHI (3 yrs) 25 18 2.93 60 9 423.2 384 36 74 418 134 1.081 5.65
TEX (1 yr) 4 6 3.98 15 2 108.2 103 11 12 96 113 1.058 8.00
SEA (1 yr) 8 3 2.34 13 5 103.2 92 5 6 89 168 0.945 14.83
AL (9 yrs) 95 57 3.88 210 17 1329.1 1339 143 340 1011 111 1.263 2.97
NL (3 yrs) 25 18 2.93 60 9 423.2 384 36 74 418 134 1.081 5.65
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/25/2012.

So, looking at what he’s done so far in 2012, throw the wins and losses out the window – the Phillies have been extremely inconsistent offensively and have been without many of their big bats due to injury.

Focusing on more of the individual pitching metrics, we see that his ERA and WHIP are both elevated compared to recent performance and his K/BB ratio is down.  Again, this is only over half a season – half a season in which not much has gone right for anyone wearing a Phillies uniform.

  • Lee’s current WAR 1.9, which is down from a career high of 8.3 in 2011 and below that of Darvish, Harrison and Greinke (just to name just a few).
  • On the list of players with similar performance to Lee are Dan Haren, Justin Verlander and Josh Beckett – pretty salty.
  • Historically, Lee has pitched slightly better in the second half of the season.
  • Lee has started 14 games at Rangers Ballpark in his career, accumulating a mark of 6-5 with a 5.07 ERA  and a 1.149 WHIP.
  • Lee has started against the Angels 12 times in his career, going 7-4 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.042 WHIP – lowest ERA against any AL opponent that doesn’t play their home games in Oakland.

Could Cliff be a Ranger?

Potential Trade Target Profile: Cliff LeeSo, will the Phillies put Cliff on the trading block?  I don’t know that they’ll come out and publicly announce they are looking to move him, but I would never expect Phillies GM Ruben Amaro to do something like that – he’s been known to have ninja like qualities like our beloved JD.  I would think that if the right offer for Lee comes along, the Phillies will jump on it.

What would the Rangers have to give up for Cliff?  Mike Olt…plus.  Given Lee’s contract situation (locked up through 2015), a package for Lee would include Olt and two additional strong prospects (think Martin Perez caliber).  There is some thought that the Phillies could also have some strong interest in Leonys Martin, given the potential of losing center fielder Shane Victorino after the season.

Cliff is a long-shot, primarily because of his contract situation.  If the Phillies are willing to listen, I’m sure the Rangers could put forward the best offer over the other contenders in the trade market (Angels, Red Sox, Dodgers, Reds, etc.) because of the depth they have in their farm system.

I’d put better odds on a deal for Greinke or Marlins starter Josh Johnson occurring.

Speaking of Johnson, his profile is on deck, so stay tuned.

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Jul 232012
 
ROYCOLBY

UPDATE
Per ESPN’s Richard Durrett, Rangers’ right-hander Colby Lewis has been diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament that will likely require surgery…Lewis has been the Rangers most successful starter during their last two World Series runs.

The severity of the injury coupled with Lewis’ imminent loss for the remainder of the year may make a trade for pitching help likely…

UPDATE: Colby Lewis likely lost for season with Torn Ligament

Worried about Lewis and/or Oswalt? Greinke would more than compensate for either, should they be lost for an extended period of time.

The Texas Rangers’ pitching staff continues to provide an all-you-can-eat buffet for the rabid injury bug.

And the Rangers have begun to plug the holes before the dam explodes.

Rather than Roy Oswalt on the hill tonight, it’s Scott Feldman. Tomorrow night’s starter will be recently re-promoted left-hander Martin Perez.

It appears that Oswalt, who was scratched from tonight’s start due to lower-back stiffness, is being treated day-to-day. However, the fact that Oswalt has dealt with back issues in the not-so-distant past is somewhat alarming.

Colby Lewis, who had just made his first start after being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, is now back on the dreaded DL. For Lewis, it’s a continued bout with right forearm stiffness. And it’s very clear that that the Texas Rangers aren’t going to take this matter lightly.

Oswalt had really been coming on lately, pitching well over his last two starts after getting banged around by 30-plus hits during his initial three starts. Over his last two games, Oswalt was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA, while featuring his usual free-pass stinginess.

Lewis was in line to win his most recent start last Wednesday in Oakland. He pitched well, throwing five innings of three-hit ball, but the Athletics scored one run off of each subsequent Rangers reliever, which culminated in a walk-off victory for Oakland, and a no-decision for Lewis.

Although the time might seem ripe to push the panic button with full-force, as long as Roy Oswalt’s back issue is nothing that requires a DL stint, the Rangers are still in fine shape.

Naturally, Scott Feldman isn’t everyone’s first choice to start games, but he has been not horrible over his last three starts.

In that span, he’s 2-0 with a 5.29 ERA, with only two walks and 12 strikeouts. Yeah, I know, that ERA isn’t something that Scooter’s mother would proudly affix to the refrigerator, but it’s better than the six-plus ERA whopper dangling around his neck prior to his first win of the year.

Feldman, oddly enough, is a much better pitcher at home than on the road. He’s 2-3 with a respectable 4.05 ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in 2012. His road record and ERA (1-3, 7.62) can produce symptoms that closely mirror those of only the most hardcore cases of West Nile Virus.

Dizziness, headaches, nausea. Look at his home numbers again. Now if the symptoms don’t go away, go see a doctor immediately, or stop drinking straight from the beer tap…

21-year-old Venezuelan left-hander, Martin Perez, has looked very solid over his last three appearances, two of which were starts. Over that span, he’s 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA.

So the Rangers have the proper sutures on hand to sew up the recent injury-induced contusions. However, they also have the proper ammunition to amputate the limb entirely, and attache a better arm in its wake.

That was just a confusing way to say that the Texas Rangers have eight more days to make a trade, should they feel the need to do so.

You’ve heard the names. Zach Greinke. Cole Hamels. Possibly even a Matt Garza.

Of course the flip-side of that coin are the names that would have to be in place in order to initiate the speculative trade.

Jurickson Profar. Mike Olt. Perhaps Martin Perez.

Profar is most likely off limits, but should he be dangled as trade bait, the sting of his potential loss could easily be soothed by a World Series Championship…and should Texas bring in one of the aforementioned aces, the end result of the 2012 season could possibly bring forth the organization’s first championship.

Tonight’s Matchup:

RHP Scott Feldman (3-6, 6.25 ERA), versus LHP Felix Doubront (10-4, 4.24 ERA)…

Go Rangers!

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Jul 212012
 
Cliff Lee & Cole Hamels

Scott attempts to trade Jasen to an Oakland Athletics blog and podcast, which leads to discussion about the trade deadline and what we think the Rangers should do.

  • What are the top 2 needs for the current Rangers squad?
  • Who are some of the trade targets?
  • Who would the Rangers have to give up in return?  Profar?  Olt?  Perez?

Podcast Episode 16   Rangers Trade Deadline Talk (Part 1)Unfortunately, the Philly pictured here has not been put on the trading block.

We’ll have part 2 of the Trade Deadline podcast up next Saturday, as the rumors continue to heat up through the week leading up to the deadline at 4pm on July 31st.

Be sure to check out our Trade Target Profiles on Justin Upton and Cole Hamels…we’ll have more of these coming through the deadline as well.

Stay tuned for details on a game watching party at Mixed Up Burgers!

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Jul 172012
 
Cole Hamels 2

With the Rangers mentioned as a potential suitor for just about every Tom, Dick and Harry that may or may not be on the block, we’re going to start breaking down some of the primary players involved.

Why not start with the big fish!

Colbert Michael “Hollywood” Hamels

Potential Trade Target Profile: Cole Hamels

The Player

Hamels is the top pitcher on the trade market in my opinion with the Brewers’ Zack Greinke a close second.  The Phillies are currently making a last-ditch effort to lock the 28 year-old southpaw up long-term with a rumored offer of around 5-6 years at $100-120 million overall. However, most believe that if a long-term agreement is not reached, the Phillies will be eager to trade Hamels away and get something for him, given the unknowns of the open market in free agency and the current standing of the team in the NL East (14 games back).

Hamels debuted in 2006 for the Phillies after being a highly-touted prospect in their farm system since joining the organization as a 1st round draft pick in 2002.  Currently in his 7th year at the major league level, Hamels is a 3 time All-Star who has finished in the top 6 of the NL Cy Young voting twice in his career (6th in 2007 and 5th last year).

The Measurables

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G CG IP H HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP SO/BB
2006 22 PHI NL 9 8 4.08 23 0 132.1 117 19 48 145 115 1.247 3.02
2007 23 PHI NL 15 5 3.39 28 2 183.1 163 25 43 177 135 1.124 4.12
2008 24 PHI NL 14 10 3.09 33 2 227.1 193 28 53 196 141 1.082 3.70
2009 25 PHI NL 10 11 4.32 32 2 193.2 206 24 43 168 97 1.286 3.91
2010 26 PHI NL 12 11 3.06 33 1 208.2 185 26 61 211 133 1.179 3.46
2011 27 PHI NL 14 9 2.79 32 3 216.0 169 19 44 194 136 0.986 4.41
2012 28 PHI NL 11 4 3.07 18 0 126.0 107 14 30 125 129 1.087 4.17
7 Yrs 85 58 3.36 199 10 1287.1 1140 155 322 1216 125 1.136 3.78
162 Game Avg. 15 10 3.36 34 2 220 195 27 55 208 125 1.136 3.78
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/17/2012.
  •  Looking at similar players, Hamels compares well with Jered Weaver, and at the age of 28, should still have many of his best years still ahead of him.
  • He currently has a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.6 on the season, which puts him right outside of the top 10 in MLB.  For reference, Matt Harrison has a 4.1 WAR on the season.
  • His 11 wins on the season is even more impressive, considering the Phillies poor record on the season of 40-51.
  • His 125 K’s on the season is just 15 back of MLB leader Felix Hernandez, good for 6th overall.
  • His K/BB ratio (4.167) ranks him 10th in MLB…the MLB leader is our very own Colby Lewis at 7.5.
  • He’s making $15M this season…not too shabby.

 Could Cole be a Ranger?

Potential Trade Target Profile: Cole Hamels

I’ve long been of the belief that the Rangers would make a hard push for Hamels in free agency after the season.  It never entered my mind that he would be on the block at this point in the season, based on the assumption that the Phillies would have been more competitive this season and need to retain his services – long-term contract or not.

As far as what it would take from the Rangers to land Hamels…word is that the Phillies initial asking price is pretty steep as they are looking for 4-5 top prospects in return for Hamels.  Let’s keep in mind that Hamels is only under contract through the end of this season, so assuming a long-term agreement isn’t reached with whoever trades for his services, he’s potentially nothing more than a 3 month rental.

All indications point towards the primary player in return being Mike Olt, then fill in from there with a few more prospects.

The deal is similar in magnitude to the Cliff Lee trade from 2010, where Justin Smoak and Blake Beavan were both top 10 prospects in the Rangers organization, so figure it’s going to take something similar to land Hamels.

Lee turned out to be nothing more than a 3 month rental, but I think we can all agree that none of us would go back on that trade now…even if Smoak or Beavan were to improve upon their current performance…2010 was just that magical.

All this said, I’d say there is a very slim chance that the Rangers end up dealing for Hamels due to these reasons:

  • The Phillies offer (expected in next day or two) – Hamels could accept the offer if it’s as big as rumored and that would be the end of it.
  • Price tag – while I don’t think Olt is untouchable, as many have labeled him as such(and as Ninja JD would like for everyone to believe), I think the Phillies see Olt as just one of the pieces in the trade and the Rangers value him more than that.
  • Options – Grienke, Garza, Dempster, etc.  A deal for one of these guys may present a better value for the Rangers.

Don’t get me wrong…I love this guy and would like to see him wearing a Rangers uniform, but it just doesn’t seem likely….but neither did Cliff 2 years ago.

We should know about the Phillies offer in the next week to 10 days.  If Hamels passes on their offer and officially hits the trading block, it’s going to make the deadline that much more interesting.

Isn’t this fun?

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Jul 172012
 
Oswalt-sharp-in-first-start-of-the-season-GQ1NTKTC-x-large

Nothing really happened in Rangerville yesterday. It was an off day—viewed as a necessary evil to the die-hard fans like you and I. Other than ensuring proper rest for our favorite team as they ready for a stretch run in the 100-plus degree heat, off days don’t do much in the way of news.

Let’s see…

So, Jason Kidd was arrested for DWI. He’s pleading not guilty, and the word is that he was under the influence of a drug used as a sleep aid.

Sure, Kidd. I know the medication—it goes by the street name of vodka.

What else?

Rangers Head Back to Cali—Looking for Road Trip Revenge over Athletics, Angels

Mike Trout. One great hitter, and one ugly chick.


Ah yes, the Los Angels of Anaheim continue to lose. That’s always a plus. Trumbo can hit 74 bombs and Trout can bat .400 for all I care—as long as: a. The Angels keep losing, and b. Albert Pujols continues his path towards the worst year of his career.

But back to the stuff that really matters, let’s take a look at some Texas Rangers news and notes.

Rangers Rumor Mill

It’s no secret that most contending teams are hot on the tail of the Brewers’ Zach Greinke and the Phillies’ Cole Hamels.

Both are outstanding pitchers that are capable of elevating a solid team to a World Series-caliber club.

With Hamels, you’d get a lefty with a WS ring and plenty of postseason experience. It’s largely being speculated however that Hamels would be a Cliff Lee-like pickup as he would be out the door as soon as the postseason comes to a close.

For what it’s worth, I’d rather have right-hander Zach Greinke. Sure, he has anxiety issues, and no, he doesn’t have the postseason experience of the aforementioned Hamels, but I feel the Rangers have more of a shot at extending him for a few years into the future.

One knock on picking up either is that the new collective bargaining agreement doesn’t allow for compensatory draft picks should either acquisition decide to jump ship…in other words, the Rangers would be out a ton of prospects for a rent-a-pitcher.

However, the lack of compensation picks might lessen the sheer amount of prospects necessary to obtain said pitcher…either way, why not pursue a pitcher like a Matt Garza, who would come with an extra “bonus year” of team control?

Roy Oswalt

When the Rangers signed Roy Oswalt several weeks ago, they realized that they weren’t getting an ace. What they wanted was a solid middle-of-the-rotation innings eater.

Oswalt looked much better in his no-decision against Minnesota during his last start. He only surrendered five hits—so noted due to the fact that he was averaging over 11 hits in his previous three starts.

The success of Oswalt over his next few starts—as we roar towards the door of the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline—will factor in to whether or not the Rangers make the move for Greinke, Hamels, or Garza.

Texas clearly has all the pieces in place to make either of those trades happen.

Josh Hamilton, former tobacco user

Rangers Head Back to Cali—Looking for Road Trip Revenge over Athletics, Angels

Seriously. Someone get this dude some snuff pronto.


Yeah, as far as I can tell, Hambone is still snuff free. Good for him. Sadly, he’s also been largely impact-free since he decided to ban the can.

It’s great—fantastic even—that he’s saying nope to the cope. And with his burgeoning family no one would doubt his modus operandi to ditch the lip candy.

However…

Can’t you wait until the offseason? No matter how talented the batter, being productive in the box takes maximum concentration. If you’re jonsing for a lip log, dude, you’re not locked in. Hamilton’s recent struggles at the plate soundly backup the “nic-fit” theory.

Injury Updates
Rangers Head Back to Cali—Looking for Road Trip Revenge over Athletics, Angels
As of today, the Texas Rangers should activate Alexi Ogando, and Koji Uehara.

Talk about a boost to the bullpen.

Rather than a B12 to the buttocks, the additions of Ogando and Uehara are more like a Pulp Fiction-esque adrenalin blast right through the ‘ole bullpen breastplate.

Also, Colby Lewis is slated to start against Oakland on Wednesday.

Up Next

Tomorrow night the Rangers start a two-game series with A.L. West foes, the Oakland Athletics. The first pitch is scheduled for 9:05 (CT), so make sure you have your energy drink of choice at the ready…

On the bump for Oakland will be RHP Bartolo Colon (6-7, 3.80 ERA) against Rangers’ right-hander Roy Oswalt (2-1, 6.26 ERA).

Should be an interesting matchup—and one that reads as a “who’s who” of turn-of-the-century aces…

Go Rangers!

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Jan 182012
 
  • Wednesday Morning Curves   Darvish Deadline DayIt’s Yu Deadline Day!  We’ll know by 4pm today if the Rangers and Darvish were able to reach an agreement.  Richard Durrett & David Schoenfield face off on ESPN’s Hot Button explaining why they feel the Rangers should sign (Durrett) or pass (Schoenfield).  That link also displays a Jim Bowden video that provides nothing new, but if you’re wanting to drown yourself in Yu Darvish today, give it a watch.
  • Tim Kirkjian feels that “one way or another, Yu Darvish is going to sign with the Rangers”, and that seems to be the general sentiment of much of the MLB Media.
  • David Murphy, Matt Harrison, Mark Lowe and Mike Adams reach deals with the Rangers to avoid arbitration yesterday.  This leaves Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus as the three remaining players that could go to arbitration if a deal is not reached.  T. R. Sullivan provides some more details on this matter here.
  • Would you want the Rangers to sign Prince Fielder, if it meant that they would not be able to resign Josh Hamilton after the 2012 season?  Jasen posted a good article last night examining the scenario, and Jean-Jacques Taylor sided with Hamilton in an article posted on ESPN Dallas this morning.  Decide for yourself, and leave a comment below.
  • Greg Maddux kicked-off his career as a Ranger yesterday getting up to speed with some of the minor-league pitching talent within the organization.  According to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram, “While Greg Maddux will familiarize himself with the pitching prospects this week, one area that he will surely be involved with throughout spring training is the pitchers’ fielding technique.  The Rangers’ pitching staff combined for 16 errors last season, including four each by Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis and three by Derek Holland. Greg Maddux, on the other hand, won 18 Gold Gloves during his career, committing 53 errors over 23 seasons.”
  • Former Ranger Curtis Wilkerson is coming back to DFW.  This time as a manager, as he’ll oversee the Ft. Worth Cats in the 2012 season.
  • The Tigers took a serious shot to their line-up yesterday as news broke that Victor Martinez would likely be out for the 2012 season after tearing his ACL during off-season winter workouts.  Doesn’t seem likely the Tigers would jump in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes as Prince said he has no interest in being a full-time DH.
  • Cole Hamels and the Phillies reached a 1 year agreement yesterday ($15M) to avoid arbitration.  The Phillies are said to still be working on a long-term deal with the lefty.  If a deal is not reached, Hamels would surely be one of the top free agents next off-season.
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