What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
And to the root point, even if he's temporarily moved to 1B for a season while the Rangers sort out their long-term direction, he can be moved back to 2B once it's resolved, or he can be traded.
I agree with you on most of your points; I think they are rational. However, I disagree with the above quote.
Operating under this assumption, it makes it sound like the Rangers didn't have a plan all along. At this point, they know Elvis and Jurickson better than anyone else. If Elvis ever turned into an above average hitter (talking 105-115 wRC+), he could easily throw up 5.0-7.0 WAR seasons, given his elite defense and above average base running ability.
However, I just don't see it.
JP, on the other hand, does have that kind of makeup, and I think he'll produce north of 105 wRC+ next year. Elvis is a pretty static 4.0-4.5 WAR player at this point, which is nothing to sneeze at or anything, but in what looks like a transition year, the future needs to start sooner rather than later.
Eric, I understand that thinking. The problem is, it's not a given that Profar is ready to produce to that degree. And that's a huge issue. I can see quite several issues:
1 As long as you haven't painted yourself into a corner by doing something irreversible, then Profar can develop at whatever rate it takes. 2 If he's not ready, and you haven't made that move yet, you can put a winning lineup on the RBiA field while he gets further seasoning in the minors. 3 You don't want to JP to waste cheap service time at the major league level, if he's better served by a bit of further development in the minors. I don't know the exact formula, but I do know that a team can have a youngster get to his first year of arbitration faster depending on partial years in the majors, and money matters when you have limited resources for your roster building. 4 The idea that Kinsler might have to be moved temporarily, is one that has been discussed forever. You paint that as some sort of lack of planning - but more likely, that IS the plan and has been all along. I see no reason to think otherwise.
5 Even though I don't think it's the case at all, so what if they are opting for an adjusted plan? What difference would it make? A team that's flexible and adjusts to the circumstances as they evolve is operating wisely. The idea that they would (or should) say, "Hey, we didn't plan all along we would do it this way. So we better go with what we envisioned a few years ago" makes no sense as a way to make today's decisions.
Moving Ian to first doesn't sound like a plan. It sounds like a kludge. A hack. An afterthought. It's not a natural fit at all. And then moving him back?
That formula reminds me of a guy driving down the road with 2x4 wood for bumpers, tarp for a window and a door latch of duck tape.
That's my view of it.
Again, I'll eat crow if somehow Ian's range can really make a 2-3 WAR difference at first...or if the man can actually carry his water when on the road. Some insist that Ian will be more like the 2011 version moving forward. I think it's just as likely we'll never again see more than 15-18 homers and >.750 OPS.
We could absorb some mediocre offense if he's playing second (with Profar at SS). At first base Ian's offense could be a serious detriment.
I think if I was in the keep Elvis camp, you and I would view this on a parallel plane. We're just on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.
"Hey, we didn't plan all along we would do it this way. So we better go with what we envisioned a few years ago" makes no sense as a way to make today's decisions.
They had a hazy plan 3 years ago -- that was right after we signed Profar. We had a clearer plan two years ago -- that's when we signed Adrian Beltre. The plan came into focus last year -- we signed Yu Darvish, Ian Kinsler to an extension, and did not extend Josh Hamilton or Elvis Andrus.
Just lying out the facts.
It was also last year when Mike Olt (winter ball) and Jurickson Profar (MiL performance) ascended in prospect level (Profar was #74 in '11 [according to BA] to #7 in '12, to consensus top-3 in '13; Olt went from unranked in '11 to #43 in '12 to top-20 territory in '13).
Basically, in 2012 we knew what we had, and if it the photo was any fuzzier, either Elvis Andrus or Josh Hamilton (or both) would have been extended to make up for the loss of potential production we believe to have in Olt/Profar.
Through defense and speed alone, we know what we have in Elvis Andrus. He should be a consistent 4.0-5.0 win player over the next 8-10 years. If Jurickson Profar was anything less than a sure thing himself, or if the organization decided Elvis was a better value longterm, then it would have been worth it to extend Andrus, even if it meant he needed to be overpaid. The Rangers have proven they are willing to pay (whether a draft pick, in terms of prospects, and now that we have money influx coming in, capital) if the player is essential to the franchise.
I'm just using a little deductive reasoning here. It's all speculation from my dumbass perspective until it actually materializes. But if we're talking about value, both in the now and in the future, then now is the time to move Elvis Andrus. With 2 full years of control, he's worth an A+ prospect and an A-/B+ prospect, or an A prospect and two B prospects. At the trade deadline, meaning he'd only have about 8 months of control, that value drastically diminishes, and exponentially depreciates in the '14 offseason and '14 trade deadline.
All I'm saying is, even though it took way too long, our roster makeup is fucked if we hold on to Elvis Andrus. I'm sticking to my guns in thinking he'll be moved before pitchers and catchers report.
I hope our bet is still on.
<1>"Moving Ian to first doesn't sound like a plan. It sounds like a kludge. A hack. An afterthought."
Gotta disagree. This team has gone through a weird regular season that undoubtedly changed lots of their thinking, followed by major roster turmoil this off-season. It's obvious where we are right now wasn't Plan A. But again, so what? If you're working smart, plans change when circumstances change.
The idea is to do what works best for the team, not to try to impress the teeming masses. If moving Ian to 1B on an as-needed and/or temporary basis is the best option - because you have a kid who might be ready at 2B/SS and you need to open an extended opportunity in the bigs to see, before you do something irreversible - then that becomes the new plan. But other than the fact that it doesn't impress some here, I see no rational reason for them to do otherwise. This is a team with lots of question marks, and seems obvious to me they need answers first before making those irreversible franchise-altering choices. While we think or hope we have a clue, no one knows for sure that Andrus is going to be too expensive to keep, that Profar is going to be a phenom at the ML level, and so on.
Eric, yep our bet is still on. Heck, an excuse for a break from here would be nice! LOL
Regarding Andrus, I'm not convinced that they're necessarily moving him at all. They tried to sign him a year ago. But I don't think that ended it. I'm willing to wager they intend to try again this off-season (after their other moves are done) and then perhaps again mid-season as well as at the end of 2013.
How Profar progresses can alter that equation. But so can Andrus's demands. It's easy to assume that he would never sign without going through free agency, and would never sign a team-friendly deal, simply because Boras is his agent - - but we know from the Weaver deal that such assumptions can be wrong, and the timing on the Weaver signing was equivalent to Andrus signing in August 2013. I don't have any idea what will definitely end up happening, but I think franchise-altering assumptions are the big mistake to avoid.
David...if JD is matter.... Scott Boras is anti-matter. The two will never ever ever come together to strike a deal for Elvis Andrus. It would make zero sense for the Rangers when they have the number 1 prospect in baseball waiting to take over. AND the organization has several promising SS/2Bmen behind Profar in the pipeline.
Why did I change my handle late this past season from ElvisMVP to ProfarMVP? Trust me. Trust Eric on this....Elvis is so completely gone within 8 months and change.
If you look at Oakland and Tampa Bay...they don't wait around with insurance policies. They roll with youth and make aggressive moves predicated upon their young players delivering. Besides this is a transitional year for the Rangers anyway. They can afford to roll with youth and see where it takes them.
JD will do the same as Billy Beane and Friedman. If we do wait to trade Andrus...it will only be with hopes of waiting and selling with greater leverage.
Profar, you may turn out to be right that everything is all set in stone.
But I believe that they aren't set in stone, and that they may opt for all sorts of various outcomes, depending on how things unfold as we go along. Where you see one path, I see flexibility at the core of their planning. Where you see Boras and JD as unable to do a deal, I see the the history of Weaver and Beltre signings and conclude anything could happen.
As far as the players in the lower minors, they don't think make much difference in the current decisions. IF they pan out some day, and the Rangers have positions already filled, they get moved or someone gets traded. But that's for later, not for now. It's not like the Rangers have a slew of top 20 middle infield prospects knocking on the ML door - Profar is the only one who's close to ready.
The Marlins' latest firesale is either the best or worst thing to happen for the Rangers franchise. If we can reasonably infer that Stanton is next go go (eventually), then it makes sense to hold onto Elvis since Profar will certainly be involved in any trade for Stanton. However if it doesn't pan out that way, we are wasting Kinsler's value by playing him at 1B. But I think we can agree this is a one-year fix at most, and in 2014 Kinsler will either be playing LF or 2B (after Profar/Elvis is traded and/or Murphy is let go).
As far as the players in the lower minors, they don't think make much difference in the current decisions. IF they pan out some day, and the Rangers have positions already filled, they get moved or someone gets traded.
Again, philosophical difference. I think players in the lower minors have A LOT to do with our current decisions. Again, forward planning. Not talking shit here, because I'd like to think you and I are beyond that, but the way you paint the portrait makes it seem as if the entire construction of the roster was one giant mistake Jon Daniels fell into.
Robbie Ross was pitching in high-A Myrtle Beach before his low-leverage role in Arlington last year. Elvis Andrus was an unproven 20 year-old SS who had but one season at AA (with numbers far inferior to Profar's at the same age) before replacing the almighty Gold Glove-winning Michael Young at SS in 2009.
The reason a big time outfielder like Upton is so necessary is because guys like Lewis Brinson and Jairo Beras and Ronald Guzman and Nomar Mazara -- whichever make it -- won't be ready for another 4-5 years. We can look at pitchers like C.J. Edwards and David Perez and Roman Mendez and Justin Grimm and Cody Buckel, and see that signing Matt Harrison to an extension seems less necessary. If we weren't so stockpiled, it would make sense that he would have already been paid, and been paid over market value.
Prospects create leverage, and Jurickson Profar is the reason why the Rangers haven't splashed down to give Elvis Andrus 7/150, or whatever he might be looking for.
Nice article on Olt and the Rangers, confirming what many here have said regarding the adverse consequences of moving players away from their optimal position.
Extending Elvis will be dreadfully expensive. Playing Profar, while not a sure thing, is ridiculously cheap. Moving Ian away from 2B diminishes his value and the team offensive potential. On the subject of sure things, that is a luxury the Rangers cannot afford. It requires acquiring proven players, which are theist expensive player set in baseball. The Rangers cannot afford to rely on the relative predictability of Elvis; it is just too expensive. The smart play is to take a chance on who may be the top prospect in baseball.
As much as I like seeing youth in the lineup, Elvis has to go and Olt is a top 3B prospect at a time when there is a shortage at the position. The Rangers need to take chances, not hedge bets.
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