What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
It's already the offseason. Shall we?
For this discussion, let's assume Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli are done with the Rangers.
1. I'd either like to see Michael Young cut, or traded. I'm crazy, right? I bet none of you guys thought of this one. A cut would be a worst-case scenario, having to eat $16M+, but so be it. I generally think some franchise will be dumb enough to accept a trade where we take on some $12M-$13M of his contract, and get virtually nothing in return. I'd be cool with that.
2. Trade for Josh Hamilton's replacement. The most obvious choices would be guys like Harper, Heyward, Trout, Braun, McCutchen, and Stanton, but if we assume all those guys are untouchable, Justin Upton is the most obvious candidate. You've heard me say it a million times before: trade Elvis Andrus, and some collection of Cody Buckel, Roman Mendez, Justin Grimm, Engel Beltre, Rougnad Odor, or Luis Sardinas. Obviously not all those prospects, but certainly 2 or more. Upton would be a stud here.
If we fail to accomplish a trade, then B.J. Upton is the next-best option. I just want someone who can smash the ball and run really fast in the outfield. Too much to ask? Because Murphy/Gentry/Cruz/Martin just simply don't provide enough SLG out there. We need something.
3. Sign Kelly Schoppach. We need a reliable defensive catcher. I could probably live with a tandem of Soto and Schoppach. I don't care about offense. Just give me someone who can throw out some base runners.
4. Trade for one of Tampa's starters, or sign Zach Greinke. A TORP isn't completely necessary here, but it wouldn't hurt. On paper our offense is going to take a hit with the loss of Josh Hamilton, and the likelihood that his replacement won't provide the same type of wOBA or wRC+, so preventing runs becomes all the more valuable. I'd love to have either of Price or Shields, but I figure their asking prices will be through the roof, so that's not entirely realistic. Jeremy Hellickson, whom I also covet, would probably be a little cheaper, so maybe we go down that route. Tampa needs immediate offense, and we don't have too much of that at the higher levels of our organization, so they may be a difficult partner to trade with. Mike Olt is a valuable commodity, but I have a hard time believing they'd value him very highly at 1st base, already possessing arguably the best 3rd baseman in baseball on the other end of their diamond.
The simplest of options would be to sign Zach Greinke, although with LAA already saying they'll be declining Danny Haren's $15M option and Ervin Santana's $12M one, they might be the front-runners there. With the contracts of Cole Hamels and Matt Cain, we can probably expect Greinke to be worth something in the 6-year/$120M range. I would do that.
5. Re-sign Koji Uehara to a 2-year/$9M deal. I just love the guy. With Mike Adams likely departing, we'd be looking at a back-end bullpen of Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Ross, Alexi Ogando and Joe Nathan. It's possible Ogando or Ross head to the rotation next year, and Neftali Feliz won't be back until mid-season. Do it.
Anyway, I could live with a rotation of:
1. Darvish2. Harrison3. Holland4. Perez5. Greinke/Price/Shields/Hellickson
(Obviously it's not in order, but bear with me.)
The lineup would look something like:
1. Kinsler - 2B2. Profar - SS3. Upton - LF4. Beltre - 3B5. Cruz - RF/DH6. Murphy - RF/DH7. Moreland - 1B8. Soto/Schoppach - C9. Martin - CF
To me, this lineup is only decent enough if we have another TORP. If we fail to get one of the big guns (Greinke, Price, Shields), then I think we're 1-2 bats short. I'd love to have a better-hitting 1B, but I don't know what my options are. Would also like to see Nick Swisher somewhere in this lineup.
Anyway, that's my tentative first look on what I'd like to see go down.
Good write up.
The only thing I would add is look at Carlos Gonzalez in CO. Further I would drop Kinsler as the lead off batter. Also, the Phillies were willing to trade C Lee for Olt. If you read the Phillies forums it sounds like that might still be a possibility if the F. O wants to take on his 100M cash owed to him.
You seem to have forgotten Colby is already resigned for next season.
Maybe you forgot Colby Lewis won't be pitching until at least July. You know that whole arm injury thing? Those take time.
John Heyman reported two weeks ago that the Rangers will not trade Elvis Andrus this winter. They haven't had any talks about moving him and don't plan to. If the Rangers are thinking about trading anyone, I think it should be Ian Kinsler.
What I'd like to see for the Opening Day 2013 lineup:
Andrus SSProfar 2BBeltre 3BUpton RFMurphy LFCruz DHMoreland 1BNapoli CGentry/Martin CF
This is of course assuming Kinsler is traded, and if not Upton, then another young outfielder with power in his spot, aka Josh Hamilton replacement.
Jon Heyman is an idiot. Dude has zero credibility.
Also, why would Jon Daniels trade Ian Kinsler, now, after just signing him to a 5-year, $75M extension, at a time where his value is at its absolute lowest point? Doesn't make sense.
Also, if you move Kinsler, and Elvis walks after 2014 (which he's expected to when he hits free agency), then we're left with one middle infielder (Jurickson Profar).
The logic doesn't hold water.
JD is not going to turn an advantage at 2b into an average OF that is getting paid 15 million a year.
I agree that JD has to WashProof the team. I swear I should trademark that. He can't give Wash a veteran reclamation project because Wash will give him a ton of AB's to help him get right when there's zero signs that he is going that way, witness Young, Michael and Guerrero, Vlad.
I think to start next year either Elvis or Profar is on the roster, I just don't see the mechanism to have both of them on the roster to start the year next year. Profar is either starting SS or he is in the minors. Elvis is either starting SS or traded for something big. Those are pretty much the only ways I can see it. If we decide to bring up Profar we need to have some form of backup plan in place for if Profar for some reason isn't able to do it.
I think we have enough ammo to trade for either Upton or a Pitcher in trade but don't really think we can do both. I'd rather go for the bat because I think you can potentially get a lot of what Price is out of Grienke for only money, but I can buy that the Rangers don't like Zack for what ever reason.
I like it, and I agree with it Eric, but my baseball heart doesn't want Elvis to go.
Hamilton is not coming back, and MY is finished. I'd like to see Napoli return, but that remains to be seen. If not, that's 3 bats that need to be replaced and I don't see much in the way of FA hitters that can realistically be of help.
As for pitchers, Dempster, Adams, Koji are good as gone, while Lewis and Neftali Feliz are out at least half the season and even then cannot be counted on to be effective again until 2014. Greinke is most likely staying with LA; besides the Rangers have had 2 chances to land him and missed both times.
No matter how you look at it, the Rangers are going to be a lot younger next year. Perez, Scheppers, and Kirkman will all be relied upon to provide meaningful innings, and some combination of Martin, Olt, Gentry and Profar will have to be used in the field. That's 5-6 rookies by my count.
I think we can do both but I don't think we will do both. We have enough chips with Elvis and Olt and a bevy of minor leaguers to scoop up on both a big bat and TORP (with Elvis and Olt each acting as the main chips in either trade), but we'd sure be sacrificing a sizable portion of our future for the 2-3 year gain of acquiring an Upton and Price, for example. So I agree with what you're saying, just not necessarily how you're saying it.
I know you and I have been over this numerous times, and I completely agree. I'm just trying to take my fan glasses off in favor of what's best for the franchise. I would certainly miss Elvis more than any of the other potential players we'll be losing, a la Josh, Mike (Napoli), Michael (Young), Koji, and the other Mike (Adams).
I would also like to see Mike Napoli back, but I'm skeptical. On the one hand, I don't think we'll be able to find a catcher on the free agent market that's better than him, and, really, how many catchers are there out there that we'd really want? Posey, Molina and Weiters are the big ones, and they are franchise cornerstones. I'd love love love to have d'Arnand from Toronto, but he's basically untouchable.
As for the rest of your points, I don't want to assume too quickly that Greinke is a lost cause. I'd consider him an LAA lean (say, 51% against the field), but he may see a better future somewhere else. Plus, it wouldn't shock me if he did something weird and returned to Milwaukee or Kansas City.
I'm also not sold on sticking with Michael Kirkman as a lefty in our pen for the longterm. He's always been wildly inconsistent with his command, and productive lefties can always be found. His stuff suggests he could be a power 8th inning arm, but the results are too wishy-washy. I think JD will want a surer bet.
Eric: The reason you trade Kins is twofold' 1. He is a pop up machine 2. The contract you mentioned.[gonna be worse than MY's]
anyone think nolan and co would ever approve the monetary hit of trading for Lee AND Ryan Howard? With some work Phillies would love to get rid of those contracts. And if healthy Howard mote than makes up for Hamiltons production...
That doesn't address this:
Give me a rational explanation and course of action and I'll listen.
No on Howard. No on Lee. Too much money, and each player already reached their peak.
What I'd tentatively like to see in 2013:1. Martin cf2. Profar ss3. Upton rf4. Beltre 3b5. Kinsler 2b6. Murphy lf7. Cruz dh8. Napoli c9. Moreland/Olt 1b
As it hurts me to say we have to trade Elvis; no way Kinsler goes to lf and no way anyone wants that contract. Give leonys a shot in leadoff we signed him out of cuba for $15 mil so lets see what he gots, hes proven it in AAA and I never want to see Kinsler lead off again. Try to get J. Upton to replace Hamilton. Trade/cut Michael Young. Sign Murphy to contract extension. And try to resign Napoli, after a mediocre year he should want less money. And see how you can MIke Olt at bats cuz hes a 25 hr guy....
1. Darvish 2. Harrison3. Holland4. Perez5. I say we sign someone to a minor league deal until Lewis or Feliz return; I still want to see Feliz in the rotation even though that might not happen but he was pitching pretty well until the injury
Pretty much agree with Eric with minor suggestions. I think the Rangers can both trade for a TB pitcher and buy Greinke. The Rangers have the cash (tv contracts plus Josh and Elvis savings this year and MY next year) and IMO the price of talent and WAR is going up, making long term commitments more financially viable. I would platoon Gentry with Martin.
As for Kinsler, he is not trade able for the very flaws noted: his contract is pretty much equal to his WAR potential and why would you trade him after a down year? He is a much better rehabilitation prospect than trade piece. Good hitting second basemen are rare. You stick with Kins.
I hope Koji isn't gone and the Rangers keep him.
Olt is the mystery. I fear his foot problems and MLB roster treatment may have seriously diminished his trade value. If not, he should fetch a good pitcher. TB may not need a third baseman, but they need something and do not have the money to hold their staff together. See what they need and use Olt to get it.
The quandary is Wash. JD shouldn't have to WashProof (yes, the term is worthy if trademark protection, an easy and inexpensive process) the roster. The a's and o 's notwithstanding, a balance of veterans and youth should be optimal, but Wash introduces the risk a balanced roster won't be used Ina balanced way.
I like what has happened to Yu after Soto arrived. I would rather have two catchers who can call a game than poor game calling catchers with better hitting. I don't know the catching market do I have no insights or suggestions on this topic.
I have become a Moreland fan. He hits and fields well enough and I see the Rangers focusing on defense as Josh, Napoli, and maybe Murphy leave and Cruz and Beltre age. Another reason go all in for two pitchers instead of one.
If Olt is tainted it may make sense to use Beltre as a trade piece. I love Beltre but he should have a lot of value. And he is getting older. I don't like this last suggestion but like Elvis, he may be too valuable to keep.
I will miss Elvis. I hope Profar can fix that, too.
1) Kinsler RF2) Andrus SS3) Beltre 3B4) BJ Upton CF5) Cruz DH6) Murphy LF7) Napoli C8) Moreland 1B9) Profar 2B
1) Darvish2) Greinke3) Harrison4) Holland5) Ogando (until Colby is ready)
First off I think you sign Elvis at all costs! Watching Elvis and Profar in the middle of that infield for the next 10 yrs is to special to let go of! the pressure you take off your pitchers with those 2 behind him it got to be worth the extra money. Also I think someone would jump all over a Kinsler trade if we put him out there.Nap I would like to resigned if the price is right but if not I think we can find another guy out there to back up Soto (who I think has been really good with the pitchers)Moreland I like him unless you see a big upgrade out there put him there and leave him maybe a righty lefty split with Olt.the outfield the only one I'm keeping in Gentry he is fast and good with the glove and he gets on base. No power to speak of but I think we can live with that if we pick up a Coner outfielder with a big bat (and I think those will be out there this off season)Murphy has always been one of my favorites but I think the time to cut bait is now before we end up with MY jr in the outfield. Cruz is dead to me trade him cut him have him deported I don't care just get rid of him. Bring up Martin to play CF or one of the corner spots and see whats out there to fill the other spot.Pitchers unless someone like Price or Grienkie falls into your lap I think we go with what we got right now. Perez is ready (shakey but ready) Ogando want to be a starter and should have been this yr and you have Grimm and Font starting to make noise in the minors.Wash has earned another year maybe a new hitting coach maybe replace Jackie Moore with someone with a fresh prospective.Basicly it's time for a lot of the old blood to go away. I think 2013 is going to be a struggle but who knows the A's did it why can't we.
Kinsler has no value in a trade. His contract looks like a possible albatross at this point. If someone tried to trade you a car worth $10,000 and subject to a loan of $13,000, you would not be willing to give them anything for the car. In fact, you wouldn't take the car unless they gave you at least $3,000. Same deal with Kinsler. No one is going to want him, especially since he is only a good player at RBIA.
Andrus has lots of trade value b/c he will produce a ton of surplus value over the next 2 years. That's why Andrus has to be the centerpiece of the rebuild trade. I don't like it. But any proposal to trade Kinsler is nonsense unless you can find a GM who thinks that he is currently being underpaid. Good luck with that.
Punt Hamilton and Young.See if there's any way you can swing a deal for a slugger that revolves around Olt and/or Perez.Trade Kinsler. (Yes, he still has value)Sign David Ortiz at DH and Greinke as a TORP.See if you can resign Nap, but not at his price.Resign Koji. Although I have my doubts he wants to stay.
1. Martin/Gentry CF2. Elvis SS3. Ortiz DH4. Beltre 3B5. Upton/Cargo/etc LF6. Murph/Cruz RF7. Napoli/Soto C8. Moreland 1B9. Profar 2B
1. Darvish2. Greinke3. Harrison4. Ogando5. Holland
My baseball heart want to see Elvis and Profar man the middle infield for the next decade.
1. get rid of washington2. trade cruz and elvis for someone like justin upton3. pay for greinke
Profar's value to the team is maximized at the SS position. Kinsler isn't going anywhere, due to both the contract extension and the fact that playing Kinsler in a corner OF spot greatly diminishes any offensive surplus he once provided at 2B. Kinsler is here to stay. Elvis, on the other hand, appears to be the odd man out. Elvis Andrus has a foreseeably high trade value and the Rangers will have obvious plugs to fill in the lineup. Profar is waiting in the wings to command the SS position for next year and beyond, why anybody wants to believe that Elvis isn't going to be shopped during the winter is beyond me. With the obvious void that will be left in the 3 hole when Hamilton departs, the Ranger offense looks to be somewhat of a weakness. Elvis will be shopped, and it will not surprise me if a trade package of Andrus, Olt, and a minor league pitcher will be used to acquire a big OF bat (something like Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzalez, etc.).
The pitching rotation appears to be sketchy for 2013 as well. Besides Darvish and Harrison, the rest of the projectable 2013 rotation doesn't inspire much confidence. I like Derek Holland, but only as a #4 at this time, Martin Perez showed flashes of being a very solid pitcher in 2012, but then again, he will still be a 22-year old rookie in 2013. So beyond Darvish, (Insert TORP), Harrison, Holland, and Perez, it is apparent that acquiring a TORP, whether it be via FA signing or trade, would be very desirable.
This wil be a very interesting Winter. It looks like JD will have some intriguing possibilities for both next year and the foreseeable future of the franchise.
Oh and if last night was any indication, I don't think we will have to worry about any possible negative backlash from the fans in regards to the inevitability of the Rangers letting Hamilton walk. As a matter of facts, it appears that the fans will be happy to see him go.
Realistic keys to a successful off-season:
Josh Hamilton: Addition by subtraction
Reel in Ron Washington (similar to Bean's relationship with Bob Melvin)
Greinke a MUST
BJ Upton a MUST
Shopach a MUST (with the regressing Mike Napoli gone)
Sign Andrus long-term now or trade him before free agency, with Profar as his replacement
Keep Kinsler unless someone offers quality pitching in return (doubtful)
Live with Young's contract for its final year, but bat him in the bottom 3rd and tier him behind Profar defensively
Here's how I'd stack them:
SS Andrus CF Upton 1B Moreland (Lefty)3B BeltreRF CruzLF Murphy (Lefty)2B KinslerDH YoungC Shopach
Bench / Pinch Hitters: Profar, Olt, Soto, Gentry
Bullpen: Nathan, Ogando, Ross, Scheppers, Perez, and the two next best organizational arms
Re: Kinsler - I think teams take a look not just at the fact he has 5 years left on his contract and he'll be in his mid-30's by the time it ends but at his home-away splits (career.238 away from RBIA) also and stay away. Minimal trade value value. We're stuck with him. Move him down in the order as he has been miscast as a leadoff guy forever. He likes swinging away, not setting the table.
Re: Scheppers - 47 H in 32 IP is horrible. Hard fastball but with little movement, and screw the curveball, he needs a slider. The best relievers in the bigs all have simple fastball-slider combos: Hanrahan, Chapman, Ogando, etc. because if you throw hard you fool more people with a hard slider working off a similar-speed pitch like a hard fastball. Unless he goes to winter ball and shows improvement there and in spring training, I hope we had another vet setup guy. Lots of decent ones available in FA: Madson (no way PHI exercises their option and no team'll sign him to be their closer when he's coming off injury - will have to prove himself on a one-year deal), Jason Grilli, Brandon League, Jason Frasor, etc.
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