What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Now that the Rangers have pretty much said they are happy with what they have and plan on going into spring training with their current players I have thought about 3 different scenarios could have happen and I wonder which would have been the better choice to make.
1. Moving Kinsler to the OF and shifting Murphy to either LF or RF, sliding Cruz into a DH spot, thus saving the 11 mil they spent on Berkman, and bringing up Profar to start at 2nd creating one of the best infields in baseball.
2. Trading Elvis for Upton, bringing up Profar to play SS, and still possibly signing Berkman for DH duties.
3. Walking into spring training with the way things are now.
As eric said in another thread, the Rangers probably have some reasonable expectations for Profar this year, and they probably aren't going to throw him in the deep end and hope he becomes a champion swimmer all by himself. The idea that we armchair GMs know more about how Profar will do this year than the Rangers is pretty ludicrous.
I think if the Rangers thought scenarios 1 or 2 were better than 3, we'd have already seen it.
I agree, you can not trade Elvis until you are certain what Profar can do.
"you can not trade Elvis until you are certain what Profar can do.\"
Finally, a voice of sanity.
How do you save 11 mil? Upton was traded. It was on all the sports sites.
Kinsler's ankle won't hold up in the outfield. Seems Daniels will make Elvis the face and resign.The 2013 strategy: load up at ASB or become sellers.We're not the only team salivating in Stanton, Price or Felix.Daniels is on a long rope. I don't think we can judge 2013,untill this time 2014. That will be the true time of judgement & focus.
releasing lance berkman will save the rangers 11 million dollars.
Elvis will not resign as long as he keeps his current agent, Boras. But it also does not mean the Rangers will lose him for 2015. Felix will soon be extended, the Mariners are headed upward, and he will be instrumental deep into the Mariner's future. #3 Scenario has been the Rangers' club plan since the Mariner's attempted trade for Upton and their final offer to the Diamondbacks three weeks ago. Price is a completely different matter, and the Rays may for financial reasons be forced to move him within the next two years. Stanton would be too costly and wiser to go after for 2017 when he is still only 27 and at the height of his career. At least he will not sign with the Angels, that season they will be owing Hamilton $32m and Pujols $26m, and who knows where Trout will be in that year.
Berkmans 11 mil is guaranteed--THINK
Oh wait. My bad. I just realized that the original poster was talking about what WOULD have been best, not what we SHOULD do now. I get it. Sorry guys!
"you can not trade Elvis until you are certain what Profar can do."
You know I disagree with you on this. Listen, I understand the logic, but then the other side of me is saying, "Well, haven't the Rangers made their living the last several years taking chances?"
Elvis could be extended before he's free, but the Rangers likely wouldn't get a discount from what they expect he'll get in FA. That's hardly an insurmountable hurdle. The more important question is, do the Rangers prefer Elvis, the proven commodity you can practically pencil in for 4 WAR per year, and who will cost a pretty penny, or roll the dice on Profar, who has a higher ceiling but isn't established yet? We all have our opinions on this, which is the crux of the debate. Whether or not Boras will "let" Elvis extend (as though Elvis works for him instead of the other way around) isn't as important.
Eric, I disagree with the 'taking chances' and what you have posted over an extended period, so do you. The Rangers, and particularly JD [ may go back to the Eaton trade after the 2005 season ] are one of the most conservative less risk taking teams in the MLB. The closest think to taking chances for the Rangers is in their Rule-4 drafts. And even that is based on conservative thought, and that, draft players with very high upside, even knowing their is a very high failure rate. I do agree to some extent, but only because no one is certain in baseball, but you do want Profar to have MLB success before moving Andrus. And ideally the Rangers can have both for an extended time. Profar does not necessarily have to play SS. He is a ballplayer first, actually a Pitcher first who wanted to play everyday. He could play about any outfield position as well as the infield. And in 2014, where does it appear the Rangers may have a shortage: outfield.
If you want to play 'what if' strategies - what if the Rangers decided at the beginning of offseason that they were going with a left side of the infield of Profar and Olt. That would mean shopping both Elvis and Beltre. Not popular by any metric, but if the Rangers felt they could get good and cheap production from the two youngsters then what type of young core could they possibly put together by dealing two of their most valuable commodities? It would probably be a one step back and two steps forward strategy. If you are expecting Elvis to leave after next season and feel you get better value out of Olt playing him at third than trading him, then its not that farfetched. It just isn't a very good 'win now' strategy.
Just spitballing a 'what if' strategy. Not saying its what I wish they did...
Yeah Andy, when it comes to Boras it does seem that way. For example, the METS want to sign Bourn do an agreeable contract. But the METS do not want to lose their #1 draft choice, and plan to petition the MLB that they are in the bottom 10 and should not have to forfeit their #1. The problem goes back to the Pirates not signing Appel, and otherwise would put the Mets in the tenth slot. MLB is reluctant primarily because the player the Mets wish to sign is a Boras client. Good or bad, he does wield power way beyond just being another ball players agent: and it even seems that a player that makes it to the top can even say my agent is Boras. And this includes Andrus currently, but a player can change agents nearly at will, and Boras has over the last few years have lost clients.
les, I think you give a very common opinion, that being, "just play him in the outfield!" Problem is, there's no evidence he could make that transition, and there's no reason to displace established big leaguers just to take a chance on JP. That's an even worse idea that moving Ian Kinsler to 1B and inserting Profar at 2nd.
Whether you like it or not, giving a ton of money to international free agents as 16 year-olds IS a big risk. If they don't pan out, those are millions of dollars that could have been allocated elsewhere. Guys like Ronald Guzman, Namar Mazara, Jairo Beras, Jurickson Profar, and I believe Luis Sardinas, ALL were give north of $1 million. Guzman, Mazara and Beras were all given north of $3.5 million. That money adds up.
On the Major League roster, at the time of the deal, Edinson Volquez for Josh Hamilton was a risky trade. Justin Smoak and Blake Beaven for 2+ months of Cliff Lee was risky. But you know? All those moves worked out, and they progressed the franchise.
The only way Jurickson Profar can prove himself at the ML level is when he's playing shortstop. We can't project his defense at his natural position if he's off playing in the outfield, or 2nd base.
Basically, what it comes down to is, this is not Little League. You can't just shift guys around the field without losing something somewhere. I think it was you who also mentioned moving Nelson Cruz to 1st base. People spoke about limiting Josh Hamilton's injuries by moving him to 1st base. It just doesn't work that way in the big leagues.
Take into account that most infielders have seen thousands, even hundreds of thousands of ground balls in their lives. They know by the sound and placement of where the ball hits the bat how fast the ball will go, what direction it will travel, and their brain communicates what their reaction could be. The same can be said for outfielders. They get to the position they're in through repetition and experience, so asking them to move out to in, or in to out, is a tough transition.
Sure, there are plenty of cases of infielders who have gone to the outfield, and there are some outfielders who've made the transition to the infield. But it's the exception, not the rule.
@ Eric, you are right, it is difficult to transition to other positions, but the teams know their players, and the Rangers did discuss Ian moving to the outfield during his contract extension negotiations, so they (and Ian) must feel he has the ability to do so. Doesn't mean he can successfully do it. Just means that they would give him some time there during spring training and see how it plays out. Same goes for Profar, who played a number of games last season at 2B, as I'm sure you're aware. And Leury Garcia, who is getting plenty of OF time now. As you said, it is an exeption, rather than the rule, but it happens, and the Rangers have at least discussed the possibility of trying it in Surprise.
I think the Rangers are confident that Profar can handle SS, just as they were when they handed it to Elvis. I think it boils down to whether or not the Rangers can extend Elvis. The world knows the odds are slim, but Just like Jered Weaver, if Andrus wants to stay in Texas he can. If JD can't work an extension by midseason, I believe, similar to Teixeira , Elvis gets traded this year. If JD can work miracles, then either Ian moves (next season, provided he can handle it) to outfield, and Jurickson plays 2B, or Jurickson, becomes a center piece for Price this July.
@eric reigning - I think you make an excellent point. That's exactly why I don't like the idea of just sliding Kins to 1B. We have no idea he can play 1B nor do we know he can play OF. Players in the AL are not as versatile as players in the NL. If this team sucked, then sure, I'd be up for experimenting by making moves like this but as it is, I would never, ever, move Kins to 1B.
Don't get me wrong. If Ian Kinsler was moved to 1st base, I think he would do just fine defensively. What I can't get behind is moving him out of his natural position to make room for another player playing out of his natural position. My logic says a good defensive 2B (Kins) would be just fine, maybe even plus, at 1st base, and that moving a solid SS to 2B (Profar) would also work out.
Me beef with the idea of moving Kinsler to 1B has to do with his bat. If he's roughly a 4.0 fWAR 2B, that makes him (roughly) a 2.5 fWAR 1st baseman. We'd be losing value there, and, given his $70 million extension (which kicks in in 2013), we need to capitalize on as much value as we can while he's still in his prime. I'm a big Kinsler believe, and I'm also a big Profar believer. But they belong in the middle of the infield, not out of position.
This may have already been said in a similar fashion, but oh well: I think it could be argued that the Rangers do take a lot of risks with some of the moves they make, but I also think you need to elaborate on saying that. The Rangers take a lot of calculated risks. It's extremely difficult for an MLB team to consistently be good without take some calculated risks and hitting on those... unless you plan on spending like the Yankees of old or the current Dodgers. I think that's where the Rangers have made some of their best moves (i.e. Vlady, Lewis, Nathan, etc.).
I think trading a valuable trade chip like Elvis to fill a needed, or possibly a couple needed, holes with a very highly regarded prospect is the type of risk the Rangers have been making that have been paying off. I think the only difference here is this team and it's fan base wants to win now and expectations are much higher than previously.
@ Pablo- the reason ballplayers are more versatile in the NL is because they need to be, not because they have some special talent. My point here is that the Rangers felt Ian had the ability to play OF and 1B or they would not have wasted their time discussing it. Now that they appear to have shelved the idea, it's a moot point. But if they were somehow able to convince Elvis to extend, it would come up again. Chances are fairly good that with all the middle infield talent the Rangers control, someone will pan out and push Kinsler to another position or team in the next couple years anyway. By the way, as far as I know he never played 3b before he actually played there last season.
@ Eric- I agree that Kinsler's best position is 2B. Obviously the Rangers feel the same way. His bat will be in the lineup as long as it one of the nine best on the current roster, and he provides the necessary defense to keep it there. My only issue with your point on his bat not projecting in LF or 1B is that the Rangers aren't trying to sign him to play those positions. There would be better choices out there , I agree. But he already has a contract and will be paid to play whatever position he fills best with the current roster. For instance; if the Rangers somehow were to extend Elvis tomorrow, and Profar goes to camp and is lights out with the bat, while Murphy falls victim to an injury requiring extended DL time, as long as Kinsler's ankle could hold up to the rigors of LF ( I hear you Hubz), it would come down to whether or not it provided the best everyday lineup with him in LF and Profar at 2B. I seriously doubt JD would care if it provided Ian's best WAR or not. It would quite possibly be the best lineup he had available, and that would be JD's goal. Clear as mud I'm sure, but there is a valid point in there somewhere.
@eric: Ball players play ball. If you gave Jurickson a chance to be an OF on a ML team or an IF at AAA, I know where he'd be. And, I know he has the drive to succeed.
MIFs tend to do well in the OF. Leury Garcia is thriving out there and could be our Chone Figgins over the next 6 years or so. He may well even muscle himself into a full-time job, somewhere.
Robin Yount, Ryan Braun, Alex Gordon and many others have moved from the IF to the OF and succeeded. Braun and Gordon have both proven to be much better in their current positions than their original ones. OF isn't that difficult - unless you just aren't a ball player. I made that move without any trouble at all... A long, fly ball is just a deep popup. What goes up has to come down (hopefully, just in the field of play). Jurickson can do this. Leury HAS done this. And, they need to bide their time.
@others: Leave Elvis and Ian where they are - they've earned their positions. Trying to change things up all the time just because something new is out there is fools' work. If you've GOTTA move Ian, his bat plays much better in the OF than at 1B, but, again, you're making a change you DON'T have to make.
Granted, flexibility is a key component of a Championship Team. Elvis and Ian stay where they are with Ian subbing at 3B from time-to-time to give Adrian a blow, Leury spells both Ian and Elvis, Lance fills in at times for Mitch and Leury rotates around the OF when the need arises. Leury could, conceivably, log 400-500 ABs this way. Let's see if he's up for it.
We have our team. And, it's one we can get behind because NOBODY is saying "The Texas Rangers Are The Favorites To Win It All". MAN, that was disappointing last year. If THIS squad succeeds after all we've lost, we're all in for a great ride. And, the proof of The Plan will be plain and exposed for all the naysayers out there.
"Players in the AL are not as versatile as players in the NL."
I see no basis for this.
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