Trade Rumors Heating Up for Gagne and Otsuka

Now that July is here, trade talks are turning much more serious, and Gagne and Otsuka have become the focal point for the Rangers while Teixeira’s on the mend.

I hope the Rangers keep Otsuka.  He’s got enough in the tank to remain an effective closer for several year – long enough to contribute more on the team than through a trade to the Rangers’ chances of becomming contenders in 2-3 seasons.

So let’s talk Gagne first, especially because he’s definitely going, and while he’d be a rent-a-player for team making a run down the stretch, he offers a bidder the added value will be 2 draft picks to wherever he goes when he walks as a free agent this winter.

According to T.R. Sullivan’s article last week, “…the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have shown the most interest in Gagne.”

Gagne, another Boras client, has a list of 12-teams the Rangers can trade him to without his prior consent.  The best I can gather is that the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets and Angels, are on that list. The other eight are being kept secret.  Who knows why. And, MLB Trade Rumors is revealing more every day about Gagne’s limited no-trade clause.

So far, only two teams match T.R.’s “interested” list and Gagne’s “allowable” list: the Yankees and Red Sox – the two teams everyone wants to have interested in the same guy because they’ll spend the money, have prospects and major-league ready talent to spare, and will bid up the price on each other.

But, what do the Rangers need that they can fill through a Gagne trade?

To turn the Rangers into a championship caliber team, the need (besides a new owner), starting pitching, a firstbaseman to replace Teixeira when he leaves, a center fielder, at least one corner outfielder (assuming out of Byrd, Cruz, Diaz and Botts the Rangers can produce one capable everyday starter in one of the corners and one bench/DH player) and an upgrade at catcher (pretty much in that order).

There will be a lot of free agent outfielders on the market this winter, and the Rangers will have plenty of money to sign a starter and an outfielder (preferably Torii Hunter to finally give the Rangers a bat and – as important – a glove out of center field – see the post and subsequent comments about next year’s team two posts below). So with Gagne, I think the Rangers should focus on a corner outfielder, a catcher or a firstbaseman – in that order.

Getting a major-league ready guy who can play and contribute every day at one of those three spots will make a significant impact for the team’s future. Additionally, by addressing one of those needs with Gagne, Little Jon DanielsHart should then be able to focus solely on starting pitching for the Teixeira trade.  And, a younger, lower paid outfielder from a Gagne trade also frees up cash for the free agent market.

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14 responses to “Trade Rumors Heating Up for Gagne and Otsuka

  1. Eric Gagne for Cameron Maybin. Eric Gagne for Adam Miller. Eric Gagne for Chuck Lofgran and Trever Crowe. Ya, I’m aiming high. Don’t get a shortstop, but just get someone with talent coming out of there . . .. Well you get the point.

  2. rangersorrobbers

    Given the needs of the teams in contention, aiming high is not unreasonable, although I think the market will fall a little short of your expectations (Dumbrowski, for example, won’t be parting with Cam Maybin for a rent-a-player), I do think that the Rangers should be able to get a meanigful piece for their future. If not, just chalk up another bad trade to Daniels.

  3. Your favorite gm, John Hart, was able to trade Ugueth Urbina for Adrain Gonzalez, Ryan Snare and Will Smith. While Will Smith went on to have a semi-successful career as a movie star, Adrain Gonzalez was ranked Baseball America’s 31 top prospect that year. The 31 top prospect in this year’s BA, Scott Elbert lhp for the dodgers. Some notable prospects behind Scott on the list are Jacoby Ellsbury CF Red Sox, James Loney 1B Dodgers, Chuck Lofgran lhp Indians, Jarrod Salti-who C Braves and Trevor Crowe OF Indians. We’ll see.

  4. rangersorrobbers

    I had forgotten about the Ugi trade. That was actually a good one! Until it was made irrelevant by Little Jon Daniels’ horrific trade sending Adrian Gonzalez (and you know the rest) to the Padres.

    You know I don’t like the idea of the Rangers getting pitching prospects, but the hitting prospects could turn into contributors.

    I’m still hoping we can get Billingsley and Loney for Teixiera, but the way those two have played recently (while Tex is taking his time on the DL) has me worried that LAD won’t move them.

  5. Gagne signed a one-year deal, but has repeatedly said he’d like to stay with the Rangers despite trade rumors-T.R Sullivan I hope he stays

  6. rangersorrobbers

    Why keep him? He do so much more for the Rangers by moving him. And then if we want him here long term, we sign him to a 2-3 year deal in the winter. Keeping him would be short-sighted.

  7. If you look at it both short and long term, Aki is about 34 right? gagne is 31 I think, now Gagne is INTRESTED in staying and has a partial no-trade clause, and none of the teams he would accept a trade for are in it, so if you want JD to get Bourn for him thats great but I’d keep gagne, also Aki is more movable because he wouldn’t be a rent-a-player.He has 3 or 4 years left on his contract, So I think they should re-sign Gagne and trade Aki.Gagne has been abig piece to the rangers success this past month and on the other hand Aki has been a bit not as good…

  8. rangersorrobbers

    If I were GM, I’d go to Gagne right now and say:

    “We’d like to resign you. But, don’t you want this team to be better if you stay?

    So here’s the plan.

    We’re getting good offers to trade you. Offers that will send guys here who can help this team be more competitive next season and beyond. So we have to do that.

    But, we like guys with your attitude and ability. You fit with the team on and off the field. So we very much want to resign you in the offseason.

    In the meantime, you get to go play for a contender for a few months – maybe make a run in the postseason. We get better. And if all works out, by the time you’re a Ranger again next Spring, we’re all better and happier.

    And the team you leave in free agency gets two compensory draft picks in addition to whatever help you provide them down the stretch. So it’s a win-win-win for all three parties.

    There’s no guarantees, but don’t you agree this would be an ideal way for things to go over the next 5 months?”

  9. uh, that would be collussion, and if somebody could prove it took place, there would be STIFF penalties.

  10. The Indians won’t trade top prospect Adam Miller. Miller is expected to be a great pitcher some day, and with Paul Byrd become a free agent after this year the Indians will need Adam Miller next year.

  11. rangersorrobbers

    It’s not collussion if there’s no promises made, just an understanding of why the deal’s being done. If I can see the possibilities, then it’s no stretch for them to discuss their short and long-term interests.

  12. to BigDsport // Jul 3rd 2007 at 10:38 am

    wrong will smith. Come on, you are a better, more knowledgable fan than that. Two different Will Smith’s.

  13. Who will close for the Rangers once Gagne is traded? Is Otsuka a lock for that job?

  14. rangersorrobbers

    When he’s healthy, yes. Until then – who cares, really? Maybe C.J. Wilson will get a try – some project him to be the Rangers’ future closer. I think the Rangers closer for the next 3-4 years will be a free agent signed this winter – maybe Gagne!

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