What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
I agree with you on Beltre. I hated that deal a few years ago when he signed, but watching him play day in and day out has changed my view of him. I'd hate to see him go. I guess this is sort of the point that some people are talking about...patience.
For me that's difficult because I wear my emotions on my sleeve.
At the moment I feel like this off-season has been a HUGE failure...not because of the media hype, but because we just let a WS team fall apart while replacing those players with unproven rookies or washed up vets. The idea that we had a team in place that could compete for another WS run this year...and now we LOOK like a 3rd place team in our own division...that bothers me.
The thing is, in the end maybe JD will be right. He tends to land on his feet and his approach is what got us here to begin with but trying to hold on to that trust is very difficult...at least for me.
I do agree the expectations were probably driving a lot of the unhappiness. But I for one didn't have those expectations. I never expected Grienke to sign with the Rangers and assumed Hamilton would be gone. I thought Upton or Shields might come in, but put that at about 40% possibility for one of them.
I get back to my point about the Rangers having needs and excess talent at two positions. Those two realities would seem to necessitate a move. I guess it's possible a trade could still be made...but doesn't it seem likely this team is going to go into the season with two of its 10 best field players playing out of position?
I know a lot of people like to hold up the Giants as a symbol for all that can be accomplished with a lineup that's not exactly the '27 Yankees. But let me point out one little flaw in that assertion as it relates to the Rangers: the Giants play in the National League. A lineup like the Giants can manage its way across 162 games with a ton of pitching depth and a meddling lineup.
That won't cut it in the American League. Oakland managed to make the playoffs last year with a meddling offense, except they hit 195 HRs. But the teams that are consistently in the AL playoffs the last 10 years are teams that bash the ball. Even Tampa, when they've made it, have had at least solid lineups. Finally, if you're going to try to win without a big bat lineup you better have strong quality starting pitching top-to-bottom (with a certifiable stud in there somewhere) and a deep bullpen. Last I checked the Rangers starting pitching includes Hollan (a proven average pitcher), Harrison (average to slightly above average), Ogando (talented but has never been a starter for an entire season) and a question mark. Add a bullpen that has been devastated with the loss of it's setup man, and most effective player (Uehara). Finally, if you have both the SP and the bullpen you need a top flight defense. Gentry getting more time improves the defense, and the left side of the infield is top notch, but the rest of the OF, the catcher and the right side of the infield is average to below average.
Add all that together and I don't see the Rangers competing for a playoff spot with the current lineup.
Hope I'm wrong and you're right.
"...playing out of position..."
Baseball players? A real baseball player is a player no mater where he takes his glove. Mark Teixeira gave up his "natural" position (3B) because Hank Blalock was already ensconced there. Somehow... some way... he's turned that into a regular Gold Glove at 1B.
Ian Kinsler played SS up until just before he was brought to Arlington to join the Big Club. But, Michael Young had already moved there to make room for Alfonso Soriano. Oh yeah... wait... I did say MY MOVED to SS from 2B. In 2011, Ian ranked in the top three at his position offensively, defensively and one of the two best 2Bs in the game on the basepaths. MY won a Gold Glove (not really sure how, but that's not the point) at SS.
Other guys who've had success playing "out of position" include a former catcher, Craig Biggio, who won Gold Gloves at 2B and was successful (though not spectacular) in CF. Robin Yount moved from SS to CF and strolled into the HoF. A-Rod got bumped from SS to 3B because Derek Jeter already held the SS position in the Bronx. Ryan Braun moved from 3B to LF and seems to be doing alright.
Prince Fielder got moved from... no... wait... he just changed cities... never mind...
History is littered with stars who shined brightly at positions with which they hadn't originally been associated.
Don't put so much stock in players playing "out of position". If they're really baseball players and not just out for the glory, they'll still be baseball players.
Cody ross is a decent bat for the price
Well Put @ DDan
"Prince Fielder ... moved"
He did? What was the Richter scale measurement?
One of these panicky fans needs to explain how the Rangers are now a 3rd place team. Is that to say Oakland will replicate their miracle season next year with a new crop of scrap heap guys? Is that to say that Andino, Bay, and Morales are gonna drastically alter Seattle's fortunes? Is that to say Profar and Olt will provide even more negative WAR than Young?
Not to mention that the Angels have made possibly a lateral move by replacing 2012 Hunter with 2013 Hamilton while depleting their rotation. Oh and the Astros... yeah. People need to seriously chill the F out.
The only real deal they missed out on, my opinion, is that JD should have jumped, though possibly financial suicide, into the Marlins sell off. Long have the Rangers have tried to acquire Josh Johnson or Mark Buehrle, and here was presented an opportunity to get both, thus if not acquiring that super Ace, at least going with a staff of 4 #2s. And if they had picked up Reyes, could have flipped Andrus for Upton. But since then, the Rangers have acted prudent with a plan and in the process have lowered their team salary by eliminating a staggering $81,000,000 from their potential 2013 roster (had they signed all their free agents with known 2013 salaries, or last years, and MY''s $6). This also keeps to the Long Term plan of playing youth when they appear ready. However, not signing Josh was a bit of a blow, that just might turn out to be the correct decision. Major League Baseball after all is a business, even if a quote from Christmas Carol fits, "OURS IS A HIGHLY COMPETITIVE BUSINESS" and when it comes to signing free agents there are 29 other teams competing..
At least we made some progress today. I had hoped for Arencibia--but getting Pierzynski on a 1 year deal is great.
All the media hype about the Rangers dominating the winter meetings raised expectations-unnecessarily .We've known all along or since the SI article that Katie and Josh were leaving. And after Galloway quoting a Ranger official --"we wouldn't bring him back if he wanted to play for free"
But i never dreamed he would go to the Halos. They certainly didnt need an outfielder!That was a gut punch or crotch kick.It's over. It was a divorce.JD let those players go to FA cause they we no longer in our plans.
There is no need to panic. Im antsy but not discouraged.
There are great players and great possibilities still out there.Some of the best trades are those you don't make.We don't have to win the winter. This is not a deadline.
Unless the Mayan's are right!
Yes...."playing out of position". Kinsler is a solid value as a 2B (if you discount his 2012 campaign)....but as a 1B he's below average offensively and a total question mark as far as defense. While his defense could become above average, he'll never produce enough offensively to be an above-average 1B.
Mike Olt's defense at 3B is considered one of his greatest strengths. If he's playing somewhere else, that asset isn't being utilized.
Yes, players change positions all the time. But it's usually driven by a deficiency at a particular position that forces them to move to a less challenging position. Having a player who is above average at a challenging position play at a less challenging position means you're not leveraging his skills to their fullest. The Rangers current roster forces two of their top 10 players to be moved to where they simply aren't as valuable as they would be at other positions.
Add the fact that one of these players (Olt) is a 25-year old "prospect" and there are gaping needs at other positions and the failure to address this situation at either the trade deadline or the so far in the off-season is hard for me to comprehend.
Maybe you're right. Maybe Olt will develop into an above average 1B. But wait, Kinsler is supposed to play there. And he's already proven that offensively he'll never be better than an average 1B...so, wait...what's the plan again?
I totally agree with your last comment. Things start getting very confusing when you factor in that apparently Kinsler to 1B very well might happen. This throws many questions into the mix. Is Kinsler good enough defensively at 1B? Wouldn't Kins's value go down playing 1B? What happens to Mitch Moreland? Where does Mike Olt fit in? How does Wash, then, manage the DH with no more Face? He's gotta be peeing his pants about that. I'm very interested to see how this plan goes into effect. I gotta think that JD is still shopping Olt around and trying to find a fit for a trade, but I certainly wouldn't mind having him back.
Very good point about the lineup as well. It definitely is not the norm in the AL for a "weaker" lineup to get you to the postseason. That brand of baseball, however, does win in the postseason, particularly in the World Series. And I'm still in the contingent that believes we have a pretty darn good pitching staff. Definitely not on the level of the WS winning Giants, but still pretty good.
Biggest under the radar moves for this season? The in-season returns of Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz.
A few thoughts...
- I don't want to trade Beltre. I love the way he plays, the fact that you can't keep him out of the lineup (unlike Hamilton, who apparently had to be coerced into playing on multiple occasions), and his incredible defense at 3B. I was just making a point that he's an incredibly valuable trade piece. Doesn't mean we should trade him.
- I wouldn't expect much of anything out of Feliz this season. As I recall, pitchers coming back from TJ surgery usually pretty much suck their first year back and really recover in their second. If Feliz is any help at all, it'll be out of the 'pen...but I'm not counting on him in 2013 at all (I say he sets up for Soria in 2014).
- Flexibility is key for this team in 2013. Think about an infield of Beltre-Andrus-Profar-Kinsler. Assume Kinsler and Moreland are, defensively, a wash. Here are your backups: Olt-Profar-Kinsler-Moreland. By rotating that infield, you can give guys days off and keep everyone fresh....without the defensive black hole that is Michael Young. Think about having Cruz as your DH and backup RF (whether the starting RF is Swisher, Kinsler, whomever). Adding guys like Ross or Swisher who can play multiple positions is a good thing (for the right price).
- As I've said previously, I think these short-term deals aren't as much about financial flexibility (think Dallas Mavericks) as they are about buying time to "season" some of the prospects (think Perez, Grimm, Martin, and even Alfaro). The team will spend the money when they get the most return for it.
How does the Ranger Nation Feel about a Cody Ross / Raul Ibanez platoon? Ross vs lefties 248ab, 13hr, 35rbi, 298avg, 353obp, 921ops. Ibanez vs. righties 323ab, 19hr, 57rbi, 248avg, 319obp, 812ops.
Gentleman you put those two guys together and you have a low cost stud with 32hr and 92rbi for a fraction of the price of Swisher!
Why not just platoon Ross with Moreland (he's comparable to Ibanez versus righties). But I don't know if that's a DH platoon, a RF platoon, or a platoon-position-platoon (WTF?!)?
At this point, I'm all for an all out barrage on Miami to acquire Stanton.
We don't know what Profar is. We don't know what Olt is. We don't know what Perez is.
We do know what Stanton is. He's a guy that will make people in Arlington say, "Josh Whomilton?"
@Eric - "But can someone please give me a reasonable argument as to why we should have gone 5/125 for Hamilton, 6/147 for Greinke, 3/39 for Napoli, the farm for Shields, the farm for Dickey, or any other move that's not been made in isolation."Yes... because that's what the market dictates for top shelf talent (I'm talking exclusively about Hamilton and Greinke). I wouldn't have given Napoli 3 yrs/$39M, and I wouldn't have traded away top prospects for Dickey or Shields (although I think the Royals will come out winners on the Shields deal). I never wanted Hamilton back ..but I'm disgusted he's an Angel. Greinke, on the other hand, could have solved a problem that this team has never been able to solve; a long term, legit, lockdown #1. He was worth the over-pay, especially after you dumped salary. Had they signed some other nice players and they just didn't have room for Greinke, then it's easier to understand not wanting to spend $150M... but our payroll is LOWER now than it was last year and I think we were all lead to believe there was a $10-$15M cushion to extend the 2012 payroll. I'm not trying to justify making moves just to make moves but having a shot at a pitcher that would have put us in contention for the next 4 or 5 years doesn't happen very often, and I think the Rangers should have done whatever it was going to take to land Greinke. I think JD made a very rare mistake... and I think he knows it. Great thing about him though is he learns from his mistakes and this sort of thing won't happen again.
I would love me a real Matisse, even if it were a only a hand painted poker chip eye cover, but I will not win an auction for it. The Rangers were outbid in dollars for Greinke and Josh. The Angels and Dodgers can afford to set the dollar market for players because they can afford it with ease. A winning Ranger bid would have been crippling.
As for the trade market, the Rangers declined moving Profar for Shields. That is a big overpay in my book. Now that irrationally exuberant expectations for acquiring Stanton has emerged, I kind of like the idea of still having Profar as a trade piece. The Justin Upton trade was a disappointing nonevent, but JD made a strong run but AZ would not trade. No other club landed Upton so my conclusion is not that JD failed to pay too little, but that Towers either wanted too much or couldn't decide what he wanted. I may have offered up Elvis to close that trade but no less an authority than Keith Law values Elvis more than Upton.
The Toronto trade? Too much dross relative to the Ranger needs. AJP? Yes, anyone who can google fangraphs would prefer one of the Toronto catchers but Toronto traded for Dickey. A competitive Ranger trade would have required a Profar or Harrison+. Considering AJP was the last catcher left standing in a market desperately chasing catchers mahes his signing an unqualified success.
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