Good lord, this is bad.
The Rangers were desperate to land Zack Greinke. I know it's true because I read five thousand Tweets and fifty stories about it this week. And when you stop to think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. It's just so Rangers to pay a number two starter $147 million. That's just what they do, so we should certainly conclude that the Rangers screwed the pooch by not closing the deal when they had the chance. And we know they had the chance because.... Well, we know they had the chance.
After all, Greinke was enamored of the Maddux brothers, blown away by Nolan Ryan and duly impressed with the full cupboard of prospects that the Rangers have assembled down on the farm. He wanted to come here so, so badly but Jon Daniels screwed the pooch, trying to be too cute with his seventeen-team trade scenarios.
And now look at them.
No $147 million number two starter. No #Leadership whatsoever. No hope. As of today, the Rangers rotation has three All-Stars (Darvish, Harrison and Ogando) and a kid who has provided dominant World Series performances. And it's obvious that's all they are going to have because they didn't get Greinke and there are no other pitchers that they could possibly acquire by any means. How the hell can you expect to win with that?
If there is one thing that this past 24 hours proves it's that we have entered a new era in Rangers baseball: the era of the salary dump. Because there is no other reason to trade away the most important player in club history other than to save $6 million. No other reason whatsoever.
Add it up: they give away the most important player to any team ever (I undersold it in the previous paragraph) in order to "save" $6 million, and refuse to pay a number two starter $147 million. You can only come to one conclusion. The Rangers' new owners have already moved away from the early Tom Hicks era of overspending on free agents and are already arriving at late Tom Hicks-era spendthriftiness where they pocket all of the TV money and try to get away with running a bunch of so-called prospects out there.
Speaking of which, prospects never work out and I can prove it. Ever heard of Ruben Mateo?
And what of #Leadership? I feel I should bring this up because I don't see where anyone else has even bothered to mention it in any of the Michael Young farewell stories, but he was a leader in the clubhouse who simply cannot be replaced. Twelve and a half years ago, Doug Melvin accidentally acquired the single greatest leader any ballclub has ever known, but since then and especially lately, the Rangers have set about accumulating nothing but spineless dolts who couldn't find their way from the clubhouse to the field without Young leading the way.
Do you want to see what it's going to look like when the Rangers take the field on opening day, 2013? Check it out. Not pretty, is it?
Then again, maybe -- just maybe -- Daniels has some sort of plan.
I know, it sounds crazy, but it might be possible that Daniels has a plan (or six) that doesn't involve wildly overspending on a number two starter or trying to shoehorn an aging veteran in decline into the lineup every day so as not to upset him. (Holy moly: Joey tells me that Greinke's ERA+ over the past three seasons is 106. Verlander's is 150 and Jered Weaver's is 141).
Maybe the Rangers have actually been really good at evaluating personnel, knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em.
Maybe there is another guy or two or three or four with leadership qualities in that clubhouse.
Maybe prospects don't all end up like Mateo. Maybe some of them turn out to be Elvis Andrus? I'm so old that I remember when Michael Young was a prospect. It's true. Contrary to popular belief, he did not fall from the sky as a fully-formed 30 year old veteran. Like all great veterans, he was once a prospect.
Maybe there's a way to land a young catcher who will nail down what is clearly a position of scarcity for the next ten years. Who knows? Maybe there's even a way to get ahold of an actual ace to go along with the one they already have and not pay him $147 million.
This is a disaster. Has to be. Otherwise, all of the theories that the media came up with this week were wrong.