What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
I obviously meant MLB, not the AL. Our starting staff is better than NYY and on balance, equal to the LAA and SEA. I did fail to mention SF and ATL, whose starters are probably better than ours.
What are your thoughts on our need to trade for a starter right now? After the road trip, I've got to think the concerns have diminshed.
JW - I don't believe anyone here said Texas should try to trade for a starter "right now." I know I didn't... I was talking about the trade deadline in July. For starters, it's too early for teams to throw in the towel and sell off their assets. TX would only be able to get scraps at this point - nothing better than what we already have.
But speaking of the 2nd half of the season, while the rotation has been quite solid, the depth is virtually gone at this point. Right now Bush is taking Harrison's spot. If another one of the starters pulled a muscle or something, then you have to choose between Kirkman, Tomko and perhaps even Neil Ramirez. None of those choices is optimal. So I imagine they will try to grab a decent starter - someone like Bedard - at the trade deadline. The other issue is the playoffs. We saw firsthand what a difference having a guy who is automatic like Cliff Lee makes when going up against a tough AL East team in playoff atmosphere. Our guys are good, but are they Cliff Lee playoff good?
One misplaced word changed the context of my question. I didn't mean RIGHT now, though i typed it. I intended to ask if the forum still felt pursuing a "TORP" starter (though I still contend there won't be one to pursue) was our highest deadline priority. My point being: most if not all of the realistically available starters discussed in this thread are not TORP's, and would not be an upgrade over our current starters (any of them!) unless we have calamitous injuries between now and mid-July.
WW: I agree we could use some additional depth, in the form of an upgrade over Bush/Tomko. I wouldn't trade anyone in the system that could be projected as a future ML starter to get what I expect to be available this summer. Would love to have a Bedard for example (for a mid-level minor leaguer), but how would you anticipate this working if our current five starters and healthy and dealing at deadline time? Really couldn't stash anyone waiting on an injury.
I'm not being argumentative, just not generating the kind of discussion I had hoped for. Thanks for your reply.
No worried, bud - I didn't think you were being argumentative. I mostly agree with you. I don't want another rental pitcher, that's for sure - if they go all out to bring in a top starter, I want it to be a guy that will be here for a few years at the top of the rotation. They look to have 3 very good prospects in Ramirez, Erlin, and Perez, and I also hope they hold onto those guys. I wouldn't mind if they just went for a decent, solid guy, and used Davis as trade bait.
I think in the playoffs they would only need 4 guys, and the worse of Holland or Harrison would go to the pen. Just a guess. I do think a guy like Brett Myers is better than either Holland or Harrison, so an acquisition like that would help the team, I think. If St. Louis is out, Carpenter would be another guy to think about.
Keeping in mind that it's a long season with many more games to play I don't know that there are any TORP types I'd be willing to empty the bank for at this point. I believe CJ is a viable TORP on all but a few teams and Lewis IMO is just behind him. It's still to early to stick Ogando into the TORP discussion other than we should ride this gravy train as long we can. That leaves us with our 4th and 5th spots and I believe Holland and Harrison have performed as well as any other teams 4 & 5. Trading for a forth or fifth regardless of who you put there will still cost to much in propects to make it worthwhile.
Therefore if I were JD I would put a descrete call to Jeremy Bonderman's agent. He was a TORP before shoulder problems and took a year off to see if he could reset his market value after not getting any takers this offseason. He would be another in a long line of low risk, high reward signings and if he can get things turned around perhaps he could provide depth for a playoff run this year and a TORP for next year.
Getting a "Shutdown Arm" is the KEY in Playoffs...I haven't seen ONE mentioned here yet, I'd Dive In for.He's got to hurt us in the wallet, or he's back end. There's 29 teams. 20 still think playoffs now.16 have real aces. 8 are un-signable or won't leave.That leaves 6 to 8 real choices, but reality says 2-4.Guess Who Pick'em?Real Stoppers, won't come cheap. We pay for the Show.That short of a straw will cost the Rangers some farm.
We have the luxury of having two TORPs right now. Regardless of what all the experts here think, I guarantee Ogando isn't going to regress--just the opposite in fact.
Name one starting pitcher in baseball who is better than CJ or Ogando right now: Price, Halladay, and possibly Pinieda and Verlander--that's it. A Cliff Lee-type trade ain't happening this year.
CLIFFY 2011~Oh, I wouldn't venture finding "Cliffy again", as not happening. The formula to Win Championships does not change. We have to have three excellent arms... one being a shut down, for a possible 2-3 wins. As much as some are mixing the Kool Aide, Ogando, C.J.and Lewis might not be enough. I doubt Daniels or Ryan think so.If there are 4-6 choices of a Cliffy Type, he's going to have a HIGHDollar contract some team can't absorb, without playoffs. They'll dump.Any great arm, under $10mm won't be made available. Start looking at thebig salary guys, with a flailing team, that needs new blood. Cliff 2011, hides waiting there, for the Rangers. We'll pay too.We have the Champ commitment. The farm talent and the money.Surprise! We get the Big Starter and a couple of big pen guys also.
I agree with WWJDD and Hubz for the most part. Right now we have the 5th best rotation in the AL. However that being said it always seems as if someone (regardless who) is having a bad outing each rotation. Look at Colby yesterday. Right now as I see it, we have 3 reliable pitchers in CJ, Ogando, and Colby. As of right now we still cannot rely on Holland or Harrison. Holland has the potential, but he always seems to be one inning or one pitch off from blowing a game.
i think Hubz nailed it down. We need one big arm if we want to go far in the playoffs this year. Will any be available who knows? i'm sure anyone could be bought for the right price however i think we pretty much drained the farm as much as we could last year. All i think we have available is Borbon, TT, Davis, Murphy, Scheppers, and cash. I think thats all we have to work with this year. I dunno what that can get us, which is why the initial question was brought up on whether this could get us someone who is having a bad year or may have previous injury issues and could either be a more reliable 3 than Colby, or atleast be a more reliable 4 than Holland or Harrison. The only hope we have of getting a "ace" type material might be Carpenter if St. Louis is out, or possibly Marcum if Milwaukee is out. I still dont think we would have enough to offer without getting into whats left of our limited farm system. One caveat regarding St. Louis though... i wonder if they'd be willing to part with anyone that has a high contract. You have to assume they want to beable to retain pujols, so there might be a chance of nabbing someone if they need the extra cash. in that same breath you have to look at the Dodgers and Mets as teams willing to shed salary... so who knows.
If i've learned one thing during JD's tenure, it appears you can never underestimate what he will do if an opportunity presents itself.
Man, for some reason I like HubZ's style. I don't think we need to trade for pitching depth, if we want to make a move, it needs to be big. IF there is a true #1 available, we need to try to get him. If we can't get a true ace, then I don't think we should give up prospects for a mid rotation guy. It's early June, but I think my deadline priorities list would look something like this:1. ACE. A Cliff Lee, true stud type ace who gives you the feeling that you have 2 automatic wins in any playoff series. Not many on the planet, fewer available. I think Felix is a pipe dream, but ohhh that would be sweet.
2. Bullpen help. I don't think we should overspend here, but we could certainly use a solid 8th inning guy.
3. Mid rotation guy/depth. If we can get a reliable starter to provide depth and be an improvement over Harrison/Holland without overspending, why not?
4. CF? Seems like Chavez and Gentry have CF shored up for the moment, but who knows? Maybe Borbon makes it back and is better than ever? I would target defense first here...run prevention is the name of the game.
5. New play by play guy. Rhads is getting worse every day. What? Already done? cross that off then...
Adam, I completely agree, unfortunately this appears to be a bad year for the "ACE" besides felix, i havent even remotely heard of any being available. granted you wont truly know closer to the deadliine for the possibility of someone like beckett or ricky romero but this just seems like a really bad year for an ace unless we consider the teams like the dodgers or mets that are trying to shed salary to make ends meet. would the dodgers part with Clayton Kershaw? does he guarantee you 2 playoff wins? what about Cole Hamels? ive heard phillies are willing to part with him for offenseive help. he's 4th best there, but would you say he's better than CJ? i dunno.... Anyone else you can think of that could possibly be available to meet that ACE status?
Carpenter is the potentially available Ace if the Cards drop out of it. I really do believe that is a possibility.
DC - there usually aren't any true aces available, last year was rare for Cliffly to be available. Most stud pitchers are on good teams and not available or cost too much to go after. Hamels would help but I'm not sure he's better than CJ...he can be. I would be shocked if the Dodgers considered moving Kershaw. He's too good and too young...they should build around him, not move him.
Carpenter seems to be the best pitcher who might be available. But the Cards are still in contention so we'll see.
Very true, not only is it rare, its rare for the Rangers to be the one to nab the ACE out there. Here's hoping to Carpenter, or possibly Hamels, or someone good from out of left field. I take it nobody likes Pelfry or RA Dickey? cuz the Mets are hurting to shed salary. Granted i'm not sure if theyre a step up from what we've got now, that might be the team to raid for BP help. This year though i'd be pretty adamant about only giving up borbon, davis, murphy, etc, and cash. I think Scheppers is the only prospect i'd part with. We have to keep some kind of farm system alive and we raided it pretty hard last year.
So I did some research, cuz i'm a major loser, here are the pitchers I think that might be available at the deadline, I'll try to keep it at potential 3+:
Brian Matusz - dont think he fits Ace, but he's young and has all the tools still needs to develop; injury prone which is why i think the O's would be willing to trade him
Josh Beckett, Clay Bucholz - for the right price
AJ Burnett - you willing to take the risk? I probably wouldnt but who knows
Ricky Romero - For right price... aka our farm would be diminished... is he worth it?
Any starter for the White Sox - I think only Danks meets the 3+ but he's having a down year but potentially could meet Ace status...
Luke Hochever - yeah i'm biased
Any pitcher for the Mets - only think Pelfry or RA Dickey would be any good
Cole Hamels - again, is he better than CJ? granted i'd put him above Colby dunno about Ogando
Livian Hernandez is always available but is he a 3+ on this team? I really dont think so..
Bronson Arroyo - really dunno how i feel about him... Edison Volquez... would anyone be willing to take a chance on him even though he was demoted?
Bret Meyers - fits 3+ but hardly an Ace
Shawn Marcum - only if milwaukee is no longer in contention
Chris Carpenter - see above
Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly - dodgers need to shed salary
I actually dont think Felix will be available THIS year. With how well Pineda is pitching and the fact their in 2nd place, they might feel they can compete next year. I think they will wait until trade deadline next year to trade him if theyre not in contention.
So there you go. Let me know if any of those players float your boat....
@Scooby ... Carpenter would be a great acquisition ... but as for STL "if the Cards drop out of it. I really do believe that is a possibility."
Cards lead the NLCentral with 37 wins ... TEX has 34.
STL has won the NLCentral 5 out of the last 9 seasons and I don't ever remember them ever being out of a pennant race early enough that they were a seller ... even if they wanted to.
@WmW unfortunately i think youre right. which sucks, cuz given the list above i was able to come up with theres truly not much out there. The only one i'd be willing to take a gamble on if wouldnt cost us prospects is Matusz in the hopes that he can quit being injury prone and put it together mentally, he wouldnt be a TORP by any means, but has the potential to be in the future. Hochevor same as Matusz. and Hamels. From what i hear philly wants offense and i guarantee you it would cost us Nelly. with how he's been raking i dunno if its worth it. Hamels is good, but as stated previously, how much of an upgrade is he over CJ? is he worth losing our 2nd best hitter even given he's injury prone? i dunno. Then the other gamble would be attempting to get Danks and hope a change of scenery puts him back together. but if he's getting slaughtered at his own Ballpark, ours is just as hitter friendly... scary though. I was really hoping for Carpenter, and when wainwright went down i think we all though St. Louis' season was over... but they keep on trucking.
Seems to me like the question for JD is whether to go for broke to try to land someone exceptional, which would cost most of our chips, or try for a couple of solid guys who can help, but will allow us to keep pieces like Erlin, Ross, Perez, and Ramirez. That would leave Scheppers & Davis as the primary bait, with names like Borbon & Kirkman as secondary pieces. It would also mean that Texas would have to assume contract, and perhaps there may even be a match somewhere that will enable Texas to get a veteran pitcher for just money (thinking along the lines of Dempster, for example).
If I had my druthers, I'd rather Texas keep the young pitchers mentioned above, and try to get depth through obtaining a mid-level guy or two in July. I say this because if even just one of them turns out to be the real deal... the real deal is so hard to get through trades or FA.
I think Texas has 2nd tier pitchers who would interest other clubs. If you say Perez, Erlin, Ramirez, Ross are off the table, I think Weiland, Grimm, Buckel, Jackson, Mendez, Loux have trade value. And Jake Skole might be an attractive trade chip I would be willing to move as well.
I'm just too afraid of draining our farm system further. I feel like that was one of the huge problems we had after our run in the 90s. After we lost all of our good players in FA we never had the farm to back them up. I dont want to be caught in that kind of predicamant again. Baseball sometimes is quite the quandry though... cuz when you truly think about it how many players on our current team are Ranger Farm Raised... what i mean is we drafted them and they went all the way through its only CJ, Kinsler, Moreland, Kirkman, Gentry, Ogando, Hunter, Holland, Davis and Teagarden when they play. So do we really need the farm? Our team, and the team that went to the WS was put together almost 80% through trades.... so honestly i dunno where i stand as far as wanting to drain the farm for a super stud or stand pat, and wait to see what perez, profar, ramirez, erlin, ross, etc, have to offer. Its tough....GD BASEBALL!!!!!!
It all comes down to who you get in return. None of the group of Hamels, Romereo, Myers, Matusz, Burnett, Beckett, Billingsley etc. would be enough of an upgrade to empty the farm for IMO.
Even of the next level guys like Greinke, Wainwright, Oswalt, Nolasco etc. I would have second thoughts about giving up a great deal.
Plus there's the realization that we had one of the top pitchers in the game last year and one of the best post-season arms in the history of the game and still fell short of the ultimate prize. That's not to say that a great arm doesn't help your chances treamendously becuase it certainly does but it's not a guarantee. Philadelphia had the best pitcher in the game and didn't make the WS. Seattle couldn't make the playoffs with the one of the top five arms in the game and Florida has at least two great arms in Johnson and Nolasco and can't get past the Phillies or Braves.
I for one will be perfectly fine with the FO if we don't make a big splash during the season with the understanding that JD, Nolan and the rest of the clubs leadership are trying to turn this thing around for a long time to come. I want my teams to be competitive and in the hunt every year. A WS would be great but most teams have a greater chance of winning one if they are near the top every year over the coarse of a decade than they do if they go for broke one or two years in a row. That's just me though.
I completely agree with this sort of "long-term investment strategy" over the short term "go for broke" philosophy. As you pointed out, most of the teams that hang the WS banner are perennial playoff teams (Red Sox, Yanks, Angels, etc).
Also, it is my opinion that most people are a bit overly obsessed with a TORP or a stacked rotation as the only means of attaining a championship. I am sure this is a result of what the Giants did last year and Philly's shenanigans in assembling that ridiculous rotation in the off-season.
However, I would like to point out a couple of things:
Firstly, Philly won in 2008 with Hamels as their "TORP". Hamels was awesome that postseason and especially in the WS, but who is to say that CJ can't catch lightning in a bottle for us this year and deliver a similar postseason performance? I for one think he has the right combination of stuff/mental capacity to do so.
Secondly, the Atlanta Braves of the 90's had one of the most ridiculous rotations ever (with Cy Young awards out the wazzoo and 3 probable hall of famers all pitching in their primes for the better part of a decade). However, for all of that pitching those guys only lifted up one WS trophy.
In short, I agree with you completely. You jump on a Cliff Lee if you get a chance and if you are relatively certain that it is the piece you need to make a run. But that doesn't mean that you significantly alter the overall long-term approach that put you in position to be one key piece away from making said run in the first place. I am all for staying the course and continuing to make the Texas Rangers into a pernnial powerhouse!
I agree with you guys. I do think they need to get another guy in here though - a solid guy & a veteran - someone like Ted Lilly or Ryan Dempster or Hiroki Kuroda or . I guess a lot depends on the trio of Webb, Hunter, and Feldman. At the moment, it looks like all 3 of those guys are definitely a wash for the first half at least.
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