What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
First of all, this small post is really intended to help get me (and whoever else) back in the zone and away from the off-season which IS NOT YET HERE. :)
Adrian Beltre was "the guy" this year---the big, off-season free agent signing (thank you, Cliff Lee, for saying "no") that upgraded the defense, solidified the offense, and brought Elvis a big brother.
I sincerely hope the Rangers do not (yeah, that's right) replicate this every year just because they can (or future tense, "will be able to".)
Isn't that the M.O. for the Yankees? That is the conversation starter: "Well, the Yankees just BUY all of their guys."
I love trades. Trade all day. We have A; you have B; let's make a deal.
Kinsler - draftedAndrus - tradeHamilton - tradeYoung - tradeBeltre - FANapoli - tradeCruz - tradeMurphy - tradeMoreland - drafted
Wilson - draftedLewis - drafted/FAHarrison - tradeHolland - draftedOgando - rule 5Feliz - trade
(You get the idea.)
It's very tempting to make a splash and think Pujols, Fielder, et al could be here in a matter of months because the Rangers have deeper pockets than in the past. I understand that FA signing are a part of the bigger equation. I just hope that equation does not begin to resemble: Rangers=Yankees (as far as transactions go...)
So now...one more time, Colby!
As long as JD is running the show, I really don't think there is any reason to worry about the Rangers even remotely resembling the Yanks with regard to team construction methodology.
JD's modus operando consists of buying undervalued assets at discount prices. He finds value in places where others are too lazy or not smart enough to even look. The Warren Buffett of baseball, if you will.
Aside from that, the DFW market pales in comparison to the NY market in terms of both dollars and baseball tradition/fan base. So it’s pretty unlikely that the Rangers, even if they wanted to.
The Yankees' payroll is upwards of $200m/yr already. If they end up paying C.C. more, plus signing someone like C.J.... well, there's no payroll ceiling in sight, it seems.
The Rangers' payroll is around $100m/yr. I seriously doubt we'll be anywhere near NYY anytime soon.
There is a difference between spending and bringing in the correct free agents (see Beltre) and over spending and bringing in whoever you can (see Yankees and Red Sox...it's a long list and a long history). I don't think (could be wrong) that the Rangers are going to get the "big name" free agent guy EVERY year just b/c they have the money to spend. However, if it's the right guy, the right price and a spot is available for an upgrade that isn't immediately available within the system or a possible trade then I can see them getting that piece and having a mainstay at the spot for years to come.
I do understand what you are saying however and isn't that really what we had in the days of Hicks b/f Daniels arrived on the seen? A free spending deep pockets organization just spending money on the wrong guys. Everyone knows where that got us and that sucked. In JD we trust.
Again, to play devil's advocate:
What is wrong with spending money to win championships? I agree that it doesn't always equate to a WS victory but to make the playoffs 16 out of the 17 last years is worth spending a lot of money for. And as we all know, once a team gets into the playoffs anything can happen.
I personally don't agree with spending in the top 5 in the league in payroll but there is something to be said for being a consistent winning team that can and will make the playoffs year after year after year.
I don't think the Rangers' payroll will ever approach that of the Yankees or Red Sox. However, when a team starts winning, there are many reasons. One of those reasons is the players on the field. As the team wins, that means players that are good are improving, which means it will cost more money to retain those players over time. It's inevitable for the Rangers' payroll to increase, not to the upper echelon of the league, but certainly Top 10. There are increases coming for arbitration-eligible players, long-term deals to be considered for Hamilton and others, plus the addition of key free agents in areas of need. Still, can't imagine ever getting into $200 million territory.
Pickle - What J.D.'s philosophy has done for us, is assure us the chance to do just that. It is the opportunity to make the play-offs (or have a legitimate chance) every year via home grown talent and FA's that make sense at a position of need. What his philosophy also does is eliminate the Hick's belief in spending money that makes no sense, just because we have it and player X is available. Marquee names don't guarantee Championships year after year. To be consistent year after year, you need to be balanced and fiscally responsible. I believe J.D. will ensure we are and will be just that. The perfect mix of youth, trades, and free agent aquisitions.
I don't think JD is about NOT signing top names. He's about signing the RIGHT top names.
I think the 2 1Bs on the market provide a unique opportunity that he will lok to capitalize on for the following reasons:
1) 1B is a position that CAN be improved, a lot, and this team has few of those.
2) Having 2 of them on the market depresses the likely contract each will get.
3) Having the Yankees/Red Sox/Phillies out of the 1B bidding depresses those contracts even further. In fact, the Rangers MIGHT be the richest team bidding for one of these guys.
4) They allow you to replace Josh's bat for similar money (albeit a year before Josh leaves) without having to spend 5-6 years worrying all the time about Josh's health/head.
5) Both guys are notable good clubhouse/chemestry guys.
6) If this batting order could use one thing, it is a 50-HR, gotta pitch around him kind of guy, to get better pitches for some of the other dudes.
7) Murphy is getting expensive, and Moreland's best role may actually be the one Murphy has occupied for several seasons (LH bench bat/4th OF who gets 75-80 starts and key pinch hit opportunities), with the added versitility of playing 1B. Rather than subtracting versitility, this may add to it.
Really, add a Light-Tower-Power 1B, and a TORP (Yu?) and you almost put yourself in a position to let CJ leave this year, Josh and Colby next, and then resign all your other impending FAs (possibly except for Michael Young, depending on his contract demands) without having to add any other guys (and their salaries) for many, many years, all while staying under a $125m/yr payroll budget. That means keeping Kinsler, Cruz, Napoli, Adams, and then filling the rest from the farm as guys become ready for the Big Leagues.
We are not talking about Beltre last year, Fielder this, and another one next year, and then another. I think it really has to do with the opportunity Fielder/Pujols provide compared to next year's FA class, and the fact that JD really doesn't want to pay Josh long-term.
If JD was paying attention (and I think he was), what baseball has learned from the Alex Rodriguez fiasco in Texas is that strapping the team financially in order to land perhaps the #1 marquee star in the game, when it results in having to make cutbacks everywhere else in order to pay bills & turn profit (because the owners are in it for profit), is not a viable business plan. If Texas can sign Fielder, resign Hamilton, sign CJ or another pitcher to fill his shoes, pay out salary increases to all the guys going to arbitration, and fill whatever holes are needed - and still make profit - then I suppose they will try to do all those things.
But considering what Beltre and Young already make, and considering what just Hamilton is going to cost soon, and considering what CJ would command if they resigned him, and all the other issues with finances that come from having a very good, talented, and winning team (meaning salaries are going to keep going up - A LOT) - and I just don't see the sense in breaking the bank for Fielder with a huge FA contract. ... if they really are serious about keeping THIS team together.
It's much more likely that they will either commit to Moreland, or go after another 1B that's under everyone's radar. That seems to be what JD is really good at - finding those guys who fit in and thrive here, who start off at a rock-bottom price, but after a year or two have real value. It's like creating something out of nothing, via sheer hard work and understanding of the rules of the game in the 21st c.
Scooby - I hear your point, and I keep hearing others say their value will be lesser because NY, Boston, etc. are out of the mix. 1) Even if they are ot of the mix, they will get involved to keep the prices high. NY always does this to mess up the market to prevent lesser teams from attaining player X. 2) If the value drops to the point that you predict, I would venture to bet that they'd resign where they are, if the "big pay-day" is not there.
To further my point, if their value will not be in the $20M a year each range, then why would they not stay with their current teams? Both were in the NLCS, and obviously one of the two made it to the WS. You can't tell me neither team can't afford to pay them. They have been paying Pujols $14.5M for several years. And Prince made $15.5M this year. So, if their value does not escalate, I bet both the Brewers and Cardinals will be in the mix, and that both of those guys would love to stay put if that is the case.
@wwjdd?: It's a straight swap. Fielder in for 2012, Josh out for 2013. What you would have paid Josh, you pay Prince, you get 3 or 4 years younger with the swap, and you don't run the risk that Josh's body deteriorates quickly. I think this is JD's Plan A. If, and only if, he can get them at the prices he want to get them at, bring Fielder and Darvish in this offseason, let CJ leave this offseason and Josh the next offseason (thus essentially swapping Prince and Darvish for CJ and Josh), let Colby walk next offseason and replace with Perez, and then keep the entire rest of the core together for 5 years. Of course, there will be a few more small, cheap changes (Chavez out, Leonys in, Young out, Kinsler to DH/Super Utility, Profar to 2B, find space in the bullpen for Tanner Scheppers, find a LOOGY under the age of 40, etc). But I think this is the idea. Could be wrong.
@ Ricky: Pujols, yes, I do see him eventually resigning in StL. But Milwaukee can't afford to pay even 6/$110 to Fielder with their revenue and Braun's new contract. He's leaving. If the Cubs stay out of the bidding, I think we're the richest team involved.
@ Ricky: To your point on Fielder, Braun's extension kicks in next year, I believe, and extending Grienke, who has 1 more year left, is their higher priority than resigning Prince.
If Colby shuts down StL tonight, I for one don't want him to going anywhere!! Tonight's game is huge for Colby and the Rangers. Holland says that he watches and has learned from how Colby handles the pressure. Just one more time baby!I agree with others that we do need 1 big power bat that we can count on and unfortunately I don't think we can rely on Josh. I would love to have Joey V, Prince F, or Albert P in the middle of our lineup for the next 5 years.
@scooby: I think Kinsler as a super utility/DH won't happen anytime soon. I see profar being offered up in a trade (with others) for a TORP. I agree that I think CJ walks, however I am not sold on paying Darvish more than we would have paid CJ. I also agree that Milwaukee can't/won't pay Prince, but that St. Louis will pay Pujols.
@ricky: Their prices will escalate so it isn't productive to think that it won't, therefore the Brewers most likely won't be in for Fielder. I also disagree that a team has to be balanced and fiscally responsible to be consistent. Again, I think we all agree that the Yankees are not balanced and not financially responsible yet they have made the playoffs 16 of the last 17 years. I know there are other ways to get into the playoffs and win championships but you cannot deny the role money can play in having a consistently winning team.
In the broad scheme of things, I too think JD will do what is best. He has enough credit built up with me anyway to give him the benefit of the doubt in almost all situations. I also somewhat disagree that 1B is something we HAVE to upgrade because of the lack of production at that spot as compared to most other teams. Most other teams do not have our level of production at 2B, 3B or Catcher, so things tend to balance out (at least with payrolls not in the top 5 or so).
I really don't see Kinsler going DH/Super Utility. He was moved from short to second because he didn't have the arm strength for it. That pretty much rules out playing third base. Plus, Kins is good at second base. Profar has the big arm though, I could see him playing super utility, maybe even outfield, to leave Kins at second..
@ Scooby - He makes Beltre $ now, so does Albert. If you're talking Beltre money for either? Then you have my attention. But not doing $20M for 8 years with Fielder.I wouldn't go 8 years with Fielder period. I'd rather have Albert, of the two, but @ Beltre $. Even the Brewers are making their TORP a future priority over Prince. Our rotation has questions. I'd work to shore that up first, before I fill a spot that is not a priority. If we can make an improvement at a bargain? Sure. But not at the detrment to the team.
Kins is amazing at 2B. He's easily one of the best in the league. Why we'd want to move him to utility, or something else, as long as he's effective where he is, is beyond me. I can hardly imagine moving him anywhere else more than I could imagine us putting someone else besides Beltre at 3B. He's a player I want with us for a long, long time. I know Profar is supposed to be the shit, but I don't want to kick Ian around, as long as he's effective, for a prospect unproven at the major league level. If Ian or Elvis walks or sucks, fine. But not unless that happens, imho. If anything, we could use Profar the way we tried to use Blanco, and even Quintanilla (which obviously didn't work out very well), this season.
Profar is going to be very good, but is 18 and has yet to play above "A" ball. Such talks this early are futile. Let's project future Rangers teams in the off-season. It is a WS victory dance tonight brotha!
Amen, Ricky. Let's get it done first, then we can waste the winter speculating about what they'll do for next year.
@gbkeithWrong, Kinsler moved from SS to 2nd because Young was manning SS at the time and the Rangers were anticipating on Soriano leaving which he did.3rd base is ruled out because Beltre has it for at least the next 4-5 years after this season.In any case, if you guys recalled Kinsler's text to Cliff Lee during the offseason "just sign whatever they give you", certainly makes Ian sound like he'll stay for almost anything.
As for super utility/dh, he could fit the role some time in the future depending on if he's able to stay healthy all year long like this season.
I just don't see Fielder and Hamilton being a straight swap. Fielder will no doubt command more money than Josh would, but he can only play first base or DH. Hamilton may be older and won't stay as healthy throughout the season, but he did provide fine defense in 2 outfield spots. I could see Fielder going +20mil/seasonHamilton....not so much due to health issues.
As for Profar, there's absolutely no way he'll be used like Blanco if he is as good defensively and offensively as the scouts believe he can be.
@stfudg: Appreciated, but what do you do with him, then? Kick one of our 3 all-star IFs out? Wait until they suck or reach FA and walk? Trade one of them? I know this is the kind of problem like having too much money to fit into your wallet, but really....what's their plan for him?
Let's not forget there is a very good right handed outfielder that could come to the market next year. I may be mistaken, but I think he is entering into his final arb year. Matt Kemp
Now HE gets my attention. He is arb eligible in 2012. FA in 2013.
Kinsler to DH was just something I threw out there. Really, I see Elvis being moved in 1-2 more years. Profar isn't going anywhere. He's the best MIF prospect in baseball. I think they'll deal Elvis for pitching. So that was really just a spitball. But Michael Young will either get a lot cheaper in 2 years or not be back.
@ pickle: 1B is NOT a position that HAS to be upgraded at all. However, it is a position that CAN be upgraded a lot. And I think you do HAVE to either extend Josh or replace his MVP-caliber production. So if you're JD and you're not keen on Josh's health risk, then Pujols or Prince is an easy way to pre-compensate for Josh's departure.
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