Texas Rangers Trade Deadline Review: Jon Daniels Earns D+

With a last minute, extra-credit submission in the form of the Gagne trade, Little Jon DanielsHart avoids immediate expulsion from school and pulls an F- up to a D+ for the summer trade semester. 

That’s still a failing grade overall, despite a great trade for Gagne. Why?

For a team that has always needed PITCHING but has never been able to develop pitching prospects or sign top free agent starters, it’s inexcusable that JD was not able to pry at least one MLB-ready pitcher who has at least begun a successful transition to the major leagues out of any of the contenders needing an extra bat when we were offering Teixeira – the PREMEIRE bat on the summer market who’s under contract through next season also. That’s even more inexcusable when he also coughed up Mahay along with Tex.

I can’t believe how many Rangers fans have bought into the Rangers’ public relations face-saving propaganda that getting the Braves #1, #2 and #3 prospects makes the Teixeira trade a good one. Garbage!

First, let’s review the definition of prospect:

Prospect (noun) – 1. the possibility of future success; 2. belief about the future (WordNet® 3.0 © 2006 Princeton University)

Thus, the guys we got in the deal have nothing but a possibility of success based on someone’s belief about their future performance. So we shipped off two known, highly valuable commodities for five big question marks! At least one known, as bankable as can be commodity should have been acquired in return. Unfortunately instead, only time will tell – and with these guys, time may range from this month to 4-5 years from now.

Second, consider the difficulty of forecasting prospects’ futures:

Prospects in baseball are particularly iffy. In basketball or football, it’s generally much easier to predict a prospect’s likelihood of making an impact (yes – there are plenty of exceptions). More than in other team sports, players at the major league baseball level are mostly distinguished by the mental aspects of the game – focus, concentration, pitcher-batter strategy, etc. This is particularly true where the two major aspects of the game – pitching and hitting – are concerned. There are just too many variables – again most of them mental, which are nearly impossible to predict – to developing potential and transitioning to the major league level.

Third, while we may have received the best prospects the Braves had, that doesn’t make them the right prospects for the Rangers rebuilding needs. 

1.   Salty – may be a good fit for the Rangers, especially if he can improve behind the plate. If the expectations for his future production are even 75% correct, then he’ll be a major upgrade over Laird, who should be moved to the bench or traded if Teagarden continues to progress.

2.  Elvis Andrus – an 18-yo SS who’s struggling at the plate at A Myrtle Beach. Again, last I checked, we have a great SS who’s locked-up through 2013 and a potential All-Star 2B in his second MLB season at only 25. If we want to find there replacements, I suggest the draft in – oh, maybe 2010 would be more appropriate.

3.  Matt Harrison – is a 21-yo nothing but prospect LHP at AA. He has potential, but again, when have the Rangers ever turned young pitching potential into a winner at the major-league level?

4.  Neftali Feliz – a 19-yo nothing but prospect RHP still in the rookie league.

5.  Beau Jones – a 21-yo LHP doing well, but only at Class A Rome.

On almost any other team, you might be able to bet with confidence that at least one of the three pitching prospects will become a winning starter within the next 2-4 years.  But not so with the Rangers.

That’s why JD HAD to get a pitcher who has at least begun a successful transition to the major leagues in return for Tex, much less Tex and Mahay.

The Lofton trade was also a disappointment. 

Lofton may be a 40-year-old rent-a-player to the Indians, but he will help the Indians down the stretch (on and off the field). I think his value to them is more than a Class-A catcher on whom the Braves already gave up last year to acquire Bob Wickman.  It’s a long, long road from being a Futures-Game Class A catcher to a big league contributor. 

The Gagne Trade May Have Saved Daniels’ Job – For Now 

Finally! JD got a pitcher who is well into a successful transition to the major leagues, plus one who’s a lefty from the AL in Kason Gabbard!

Gabbard has progressed well at every level, including his time in the majors. If he can keep his head straight in the unforgiving Ballpark and keep his stats within the same general range he’s been performing at, he will be a winning pitcher for several years to come. If he comes to Arlington and can improve at all – he’ll be the ace of our staff by ’09 at the latest. 

The two outfielders in the deal were also good pick-ups. Left-handed hitting 27-yo CF David Murphy could do very well in the Ballpark. He’s already had some limited success in the majors, and should be a September call up and ready to compete for a spot on the big club next season. 18-yo “5-tool” outfielder Engel Beltre is several years away, but is reportedly one heck of a prospect.  

In Sum 

Overall, the Rangers shipped off Teixeira, Gagne, Mahay and Lofton in return for: 

1 MLB-ready pitcher

2 Probably ready to break through position players (Salty and Murphy)

3 Very young, who knows what they’ll be position prospects (Andrus, Beltre and Ramirez)

3 Young, who knows what they’ll be pitching prospects (Harrison, Jones, Feliz). 

To give up that much highly-prized and sought-after talent and not have 2 MLB-ready pitchers in return is terrible.  

Salty and Murphy are strong maybe’s, but there are concerns about both of their games. And then there are six really big question marks?????? 

That leaves Gabbard as the only acquisition whose value can be close to accurately projected. 

As of today, that’s a terrible performance from Little Jon DanielsHart.

In time, if Gabbard lives up to expectation, if Salty becomes one of the leagues top producing catchers, if Murphy works out, if one of the three pitching prospects becomes a winner at the major-league level, then this could become a very good performance from Little Jon DanielsHart. But that’s too many “if’s” given all the Rangers had to offer. 

And after 27-years as a fan, there are too many reasons to be skeptical. Hanging on to hopes that so many “if’s” will pan out is just asking for more heartbreak, and I expect more from the General Manager.

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40 responses to “Texas Rangers Trade Deadline Review: Jon Daniels Earns D+

  1. Just curious (and this shows just how little homework that I’ve had time to do lately), who were some of the pitchers, particularly major league ready ones, that were ripe for trade?

    In other words, of the contending teams that needed a Texieria-type, who did they have that a more savvy GM could have gotten? Who are the young, front-line, signed-for-years pitchers on contending teams that JD should have bargained for? Kershaw, Nevin, E. Santana, Harrison, Jo-Jo??

    Part of the “spin” is that the there simply wasn’t anyone available. Help me to believe that it was “spin” and that JD missed out. I mean, I’ve heard ALOT of commentary about getting front-line pitching, but WHO?? In an era where extremely medicore pitchers are getting outrageous sums of money in free agency (and the Rangers were prepared to give that kind of money to a Texieria, a position player), who could the Rangers have gotten?

    Your friendly, neighborhood devil’s advocate
    Scrub Brush

  2. rangersorrobbers

    It’s funny how one day the Rangers are saying there’s no quality, MLB-ready pitchers available in the Tex trade but the next day they get a good one from Boston for Gagne.

    And to be clear, nobody should have expected JD to land front-line pitchers. But I think we should have expected 1-2 more pitchers who have begun a successful transition to the majors (since that’s clearly so hard to do in Arlington).

    From all I read, Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana were ripe for the picking from the Angels. One or both of them plus Kotchman would have been a better trade tht more closely synched with the Rangers needs (a replacement for Tex and PITCHING).

    I haven’t researched Arizona much, but in pulling the trigger with Braves when he did, it’s hard to believe that he’d explored every option and pushed every button with them when they hadn’t jumped into the fray until the last minute. A more savvy GM would have taken great pains to squeeze Arizona into showing all their cards fast since they were late to the table. Maybe JD did that, but given the timing, it would be hard to convince me.

    And let’s face it, there a maybe a couple of dozen truly untouchable players; beyond that EVERYONE is available if you make the right offer and are a savvy negotiator.

    With that in mind, I still think the Tigers and their GM Dave Dombrowski were ripe for the picking. They were interested early on but balked at the high asking price. So show Dombrowski some movement in the asking price, leverage the fear the Tigers (who tie with Boston as my second favorite teams) should have that Cleveland is pressing them despite career years so far from several Detroit hitters, and show the Mahay card (with benoit still up your sleeve to sweeten the deal if they balk) – and I believe Dombrowski sits back down at the Tex negotiating table. The Tigers have more young pitchers who have begun the successful transition to the majors than maybe anyone in baseball. They have their top three spots locked down for years after Kenny Rogers leaves with Verlander, Robertson and Burleson. So go hard after Miller and Miner – at least one if not both of whom will be relegated to the bullpen for the rest of the season and almost certainly both will be in the ‘pen if the Tigers make the playoffs. That makes Mahay more than just icing in that deal, while Tex would blast their lineup to new heights and provide insurance against one of those career seasons suffering a prolongued slump.

    Billingsly and Loney were available in early June, and while it’s hard to pull the trigger that early before seeing how the market may move as the deadline approached, they were both known commodities and just those two for Tex would have been a fabulous deal. By waiting – instead of pouncing early – injuries to the Dodgers rotation and super-human July performances from both took that opportunity off the table.

    Moving earlier also could have gotten the Yankees to cough up – if not Hughes – maybe Chamberlain. When they jumped several games closer to Boston early in the month, they were ripe. Their pace slowed, and so did their interest in taking a risk to go for it all this season.

    The Rangers also could have showcased Teixeira at third – which could have opened opportunities from the many contenders who already have first base covered – Phillies, Cubs, Mariner, Twins, Cardinals and maybe the Brewers.

    Those are just some quick thoughts off the top of my head – and I’m not getting paid ludicrous money to think creatively and leverage savvy negotiation skills for the team.

  3. Great post, and great comment, rangersorrobbers. You said it all. I’ll just agree and reiderate what I’ve said before: JD got Gabbard for Gagne… why in the name of God could he not get Jo-Jo Reyes or some other AAA pitcher from the Braves? It’s true that there really wasn’t any MLB ready pitching, on the market, but I think it’s a fair question: why stock up on low-level prospects, who will still be in AA or AAA 3 years from now (if we’re lucky), instead of getting one AAA prospect who could be helping us within 2 years?

  4. If you’re giving the Rangers a D+, what the heck do you give to real losers like the Nationals, or the Pirates? F—–?

  5. rangersorrobbers

    First, I’m not sure if you’re calling the Nats and Pirates losers for the summer trade season or losers overall.

    If it’s losers overall, I hope you’re not deluding yourself into believing that Rangers don’t fall into the same category as those teams. Their records all suck and at least the Pirates and Nats both have a rotation with several pitchers sporting era’s well below 5.00, while every Rangers starter with at least 10 starts this season has an era over 5.18. The Rangers rank next to last with a team era of 4.97 (and that’s markedly higher amongst their starters) while the Nats and Pirates rank 21st and 22nd, respectively. So in a lot of ways, it could be argued that those two teams are better than the Rangers (although I think the Rangers would win that debate in the end, it wouldn’t be by much).

    If you’re saying the Pirates and Nats were big losers in the trade season, I’m not sure I agree. The Pirates got Matt Morris, who’s abilities have declined but he still has a .500 w% on the season and a passable 1.34 whip. And they got him, a proven MLB winner, for a AAA OF prospect. They also shored up the hurt left side of their infield by acquiring former Gold-Glover Cesar Izturis. So, without trade bait not even worth 10% of the value the Rangers had, they did alright.

    Did the Nats make a trade in the past two months? If they did, I missed it and can’t find any news about it. So it’s hard to say they failed when they didn’t participate in the trade season.

    Question for you: do you think the Rangers ownership/front office have done much to help the club in the past 10 years?

  6. Both trades were HORRIBLE from the Pirates side. They get an old 32 year old below average starter who is owed over 13 MILLION through 2008.

    BTW – Morris’ Whip is 1.47. He’s giving up almost 11 hits every 9 innings.

    What do the Pirates gain from this trade?? San Francisco was hoping to find a place to dump salary – and Pittburgh was dumb enough to accomodate them AND give up two prospects -one who is major league ready now.

    Izturis is HORRIBLE. He’s not nearly the defender he was just 3 years ago when he won the gold glove (and he was overrated then). He offers NOTHING offensively, and is well below league average in range factor with a below average fielding percentage.

    Would you be happy if the Rangers gave up prospects for those two players? If I were a Pirate fan – I’d be supremely bummed.

  7. First off – who really gives a **** about the Pirates? They havn’t had a good team since they had Bert Blyleven, and trades like that are the reason why. But since we’re talking about it – I’m with Statman on this one: Morris has a very good record – but he’s always had good teams (Cards and Giants) to back him. With his current numbers, without a decent offense and defense to back him up, he’s gonna look just as bad as any of the Pirates current starters do. He’s past his prime, and plus, the Pirates can’t handle his salary. Izturis just stinks. Frankly, I’m not sure why he’s still a Major Leaguer – he had one decent year, when he won the gold glove, but he too is past his prime – and at the dish, he makes Gerald Laird look like Babe Ruth. Bottom line, it’s trades like this that contribute to the 85% suicide rate among Pirates fans, and give even teams as bad as ours the ability to point our finger and say “well, at least we’re not as bad as those guys”.

  8. I meant losers in the trade season. C’mon. Matt Morris. The penny-pinching Pirates were the only team stupid enough to take on all of Matt Morris’ contract. The Giants were willing to pay 1/2 of it.

    The Nats once again failed to make a deal. On top of that, they re-signed two 30 year-olds to multi-year deals. Guys that nobody wanted to sign. Having Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch (in a market in high demand for relievers), they pulled off another Soriano. Holding on to them for no reason. Just imagine if the Rangers hadn’t traded Lofton and Teixeira.

  9. rangersorrobbers

    Don’t know why I’m taking the bait when it’s about the stupid Pirates (loved Willie Stargel, though), but from what I quickly scanned, the prospects they gave up weren’t much. Morris is overpaid and diminishing, but he’d immediately be the ace of the current Rangers staff (Gabbard might be the only challenge there).

  10. As you said, Morris is diminishing – he might be our ace now, but in two years, he’d be our Randy Johnson.

  11. RoR – would you have traded Jason Botts & some lower level minor leaguer for Matt Morris & his $13 mill contract for the next 1.3 seasons? Is that the type of trade you’d like to see the Rangers make?

    In essence, this is what the Pirates did.

    The Pirates traded a productive 26 year old AAA outfielder & someone else (couldn’t find who) – so they’d get the pleasure of saving the Giants $13 million and paying it themselves.

    I’m sure Matt Morris will finally get them over the top – bring them back to the “We are Family” days……

  12. rangersorrobbers

    OK, I’m officially changing this site to “Pirates or Robbers”!

    NO, that’s not the type of trade I’d have liked to see the Rangers make. You guys have never read a post from me suggesting anything but getting more young starters who’ve at least begun a successful transition to the majors (e.g. Gabbard).

    To finally answer Chris’ original question, yeah I’d give the Pirates a failing grade. Probably worse than the Rangers. But Morris will help their young staff develop and will contribute for several more years. He’s had only 1 losing season in his career (last year with the Giants, who stunk). If their owner doesn’t mind over-paying for that – so be it. If it stops them from picking up a better choice – that’s stupid. But right now, I’d take their rotation of the Rangers’ – especially with their three lefties and guys who can eat innings.

  13. TradeTexFoundation

    My Grade for the Rangers is B-
    Lofton deal-Takes a 40 year old OF out of the starting line up and adds a young Nelson Cruz to the line up giving him a chance to play.Rangers would not have re-signed lofton and woulf have recived a draft pick in return,Im not sure what else was out there but I’m sure If JD could have got more he would have.
    Tex Trade-
    reload the farm system with this deal and recive a major league catcher and a pitcher in harrison who will prob be in the Bigs in september of 08′ barring further injury.
    Gagne deal-Recived a good starting pitcher who was mlb ready…Murphy im not buying on maybe will will trade him for more prospects and we also recived a 17 year old OF who is a 5 tool player…JD I think you did a fair job on this one….

  14. Wow…Stop fooling yourself into believing there was some type of market for Kenny Lofton. There wasn’t. Ramirez is better, and closer to contributing to an ML team than the second round compensation pick we would have gotten for Lofton. He’s not much behind the plate, but he’s a guy several people around baseball think could be a serviceable DH or even first baseman with time at the position. He won’t ever catch in the bigs, but his bat could carry him.

    The only reason the Rangers got Gabbard is because the Sox have a load of better pitching talent. Where was he fitting into the rotation this year when Schilling came back? He’s not better than Beckett, Dick-K, Lester, Wakefield, Bucholz or Daniel Bard who could be in the rotation in 2009 after Schilling retires…So they essentially traded a fifth starter, a teenager and AAAA outfielder (Murphy will not be anything more than a 4th OF) for Gagne. Gabbard was absolutely expendable for them. To other contenders (and teams in the Gagne/Teixeira sweepstakes), probably not.

    As for the Teixeira trade, Saltalamacchia is big league ready now, and don’t be surprised if Matt Harrison is in the rotation at some point next season. Harrison gives the Rangers another young, near ML ready lefty who scouts compare to Tom Glavine. You’d have rather had Kyle Davies or JoJo Reyes? HA! Both have been awful in the majors thus far.

  15. TradeTexFoundation

    jmay I agree with you , well said

  16. rangersorrobbers

    You’re all forgetting the reality under which we must all evaluate the Rangers’ pitching acquisitions – that the Rangers simply CAN NOT turn pitching prospects into winning major league starters. They NEVER have (with the limited exception of Kevin Brown). That’s why getting a starter who has at least begun a successful transition to the majors needed to be a minimum expectation in the Teixeira deal, and not doing so will haunt this team for years to come.

  17. TradeTexFoundation

    well if thats the case then we got a good deal, because it would have been 2 draft picks that would more than likley been pitchers so if we cant develop them atleat we have salty and elvis(lol)

  18. rangersorrobbers

    Not when trading is the only hope the Rangers have to get winning pitchers on the roster.

    Go back and read my draft posts – I don’t think the Rangers should draft pitchers either.

  19. You’re talking about trading for young pitchers with MLB experience, but you don’t acknowledge the fact that nobody in the Teixeira sweepstakes was giving up a successful young pitcher (with a high ceiling) to rent Teixeira for the next year and 3 months. And his value would have dropped drastically if Daniels waited until the winter to trade him. Who did you want them to get? Joe Saunders? No thanks. Kyle Davies or JoJo Reyes? No thanks, they both suck. Ervin Santana? Nope, he’s far too prone to the long ball. Matt Harrison is all but developed through the Braves organization, he just needs a bit more time in the minors to fine tune some things and he’ll be ready. The Rangers really don’t have to develop him much.

  20. I wish I had 4 hands…so I could give this blog 4 thumbs down. This is not a very good blog. “Errrrr. Tom Hicks is dumb! Errrrr! Get some pitching! Errrrr!” Sweet HSO’s, man. You’re outdoing yourself. Seriously. “Hey, Braves? This is John Daniels. I’ll give you Victor Diaz, Kevin Mench’s old jock strap and a broken juggs machine for Jo-Jo Reyes. Deal? Good. Send him on the next plane to Arlington.” Doesn’t exactly work that way.

  21. rangersorrobbers

    Hey, Blah Blah Blah Bob,

    4 thumbs – good one!

    Get some new schtick.

    This blog is not just about how bad Hicks is as an owner, but about doing something as fans.

  22. rangersorrobbers

    Jmay2005 – so you’d rather have a bunch of question marks instead of Joe Saunders? That’s nuts.

  23. TradeTexFoundation

    joe saunders i bet he doesnt win 100 mlb games in his carrer
    Bob Loblaw : If you dont like the blog, just ignore it. Don’t be an ass**** to the real rangers fans who like it…find your self another blog to pick on…

  24. Rangersorrobbers – You actually want another guy that everyone around baseball believes will max out as a #4 or 5 starter? We’ve got enough of those already. We need pitchers who have high upside, and are capable of being front of the rotation pitchers. In Harrison, we got a near MLB ready pitcher who people around baseball believe could be as high as a solid #2 or a great #4. Yeah, I’ll take the higher upside, near MLB ready talent over a guy with a low ceiling who has about 6 good MLB starts under his belt…Harrison draws comparisons to Tom Glavine and Kenny Rogers, types that would be successful pitchers in Arlington. It’s not like the guy needs the Rangers to build him from the ground up. He’s nearly MLB ready, and expected by most to hit the majors in 2008. Assuming his shoulder injury is nothing serious, he’ll be up at some point next year, probably along with Hurley.

    My thing is, how do you figure Saunders isn’t a question mark? By the 10 starts he’s made this year? Take a look back and figure out how many guys had solid first halves or even first seasons in the bigs, and turned out to be absolutely horrible pitchers. There’s plenty, and that’s usually what you get with low-ceiling guys like Joe Saunders.

  25. rangersorrobbers

    Jmay – good points. Saunders (who’s battling well as I write against Boston for his 6th straight win) is a ? mark. So is Gabbard – who pitched well again tonight. But they’re far smaller ? marks than Harrison or Hurley or Feliz, etc.

    It’s pretty widely accepted that the mental transition as a pitcher from the minors to the majors is probably the most diffucult step to take in pro sports.

    That fact combined with the Rangers’ lack of ability to sheppherd prospects and the unforgiving nature of the Ballpark and the hard knocks it delivers to young pitchers are what have scared me away from thinking that we should hold out any hopes of being able to take someone like Harrison and see him become a winning MLB pitcher as a Ranger.

    Guys like Gabbard and Saunders already have one foot on that next step with their (albeit short) time in the majors. That gives them a foundation of mental confidence to build on – and if they have what it takes – to hold on to on the days and in starts following days when the Ballpark deals them some touch knocks.

    And maybe I’m not reading what you’re reading, but I read a lot and haven’t heard that the jury is in and the binding verdict is that Gabbard and Saunders have been handed life sentences as boottom-of-the-rotation spares. I’ve not read that anyone thinks they’ll be a #1 or a real ace, either, but there’s a lot of positive territory in between. And with the obstacles facing young Rangers pitchers, I like their chances of landing on the sunny side of that territory a lot better than anyone who’s yet to get a glimpse of the Show.

  26. I agree that the jury is still out on guys like Saunders, but at the same time, I think the general consensus, from everything I’ve seen/read about him around baseball, is that he’s not a guy that has particularly good stuff or a high ceiling on his potential. While I honestly think he could have helped, I’m not willing to throw JD under the bus for acquiring 2 more talented, albeit less experienced pitchers along with a guy that could be a perennial all-star catcher in the next couple of years. The Rangers have enough 3/4/5 starting pitchers as it is, at some point they’ve just got to acquire guys with more talent/potential than that.

    We do agree that Gabbard has looked very serviceable his first two starts in a Rangers uniform. Reminds me alot of Kenny Rogers. His control was a little spotty tonight, but he’s still getting groundballs and that’s a good sign…If he becomes a guy that can keep giving us quality starts from the 4/5 spot in the rotation, the Gagne deal is a good one regardless of how Murphy or Beltre pan out.

    I think the real problem with Rangers pitching prospects is that the organization coddles them too much. You’ve got guys like John Danks, who we swear aren’t mentally ready for the big-leagues, but they go to other teams and have solid seasons. The only real difference between the Rangers and other organizations is that other teams aren’t afraid to throw the kids in the fire and make them learn how to pitch at this level. If a kid comes into the majors, gets rocked a couple of times and loses his head, it’s my opinion he wasn’t going to be mentally tough enough to make it anyways, so why waste another year or two of talent trying to develop him mentally at AAA? The Rangers bring a guy up, watch him struggle through a handful of starts and ship him back to high-A ball and start him all over. How well do you think that plays in a kid’s head? They’ve got to start letting guys work through their issues like they have with McCarthy this year. Kid was awful at the beginning of this year, but he’s gotten gradually better over the course of the year (dropped his ERA a full run in a month) and he’s really shown some promise. Why is John Rheinecker up here getting rocked every 5th day (like he has everytime the Rangers gave him a rotation spot) when a guy like Edinson Volquez could be up here getting innings and learning how to pitch in this league right now with no pressure on him in games that don’t matter?

  27. Good point, Jmay, but weren’t you one of the ones asking where all those asking where all those “more talented” pitchers were on the trade market this year? One thing about pitching prospects is it’s not very often you find guys like the Phillies’ Cole Hamels, who is ready to come up and go straight into the 2-3 slot in the rotation. Usually, guys start out as 4-5 hole starters, and develop into top of the rotation candidates while they are in the majors. Forgive me if I’ve missed your point, but you seem to think that we need to find ourselves a young 19-22 year old rookie who is ready to jump straight into the majors and start throwing bullets? Not gonna happen, especially with the Rangers farm system.

    I think you’re underestimating Joe Saunders a little – he’s performed phenominally for the Angels this year – it looks like he’s having a breakout season. I’m not saying he’s gonna be Johan Santana, but his stats look like he has a future a heck of a lot better than a 4th-5th starter for his entire career. If the Rangers could have picked him up, he’d be doing a lot better than anyone else in the current rotation – tell me, who do we have that’s any better than him, save for Millwood? Kameron Loe? I don’t think so.

    I do agree with you, though, that the Rangers have badly mishandled their prospects so far. Danks was ready last year, and we held him back. Volquez was a disaster. Sending him to A-ball was the dumbest thing we could have done. His confidence has to be pretty much gone after that – in my opinion we spoiled one of our best prospects before his career even started. We need to take the approach we have with McCarthy, and let our guys struggle until they improve. It’s working so far with B-Mac – in April, he looked like he was throwing underhanded, but the way he’s rebounded, I think he could be a solid mid-rotation starter for the Rangers in the future.

    We have one more chance to redeem ourselves in the development of Eric Hurley. Rheinecker is getting his ass whooped – it’s the perfect time to call up Hurley and get him some experience – even if he does get knocked around a few times. As you said, if a guy can’t handle getting rocked a few times, then he shouldn’t be out there anyway.

    Speaking of John Rheinecker, I don’t know what to make of him. One good start, and then he’s gone into a tailspin – much Like Kameron Loe did earlier this year. I think he should be in the bullpen – he doesn’t look like a starter to me. According to CJ Wilson, he’s a competitor, but the guy just can’t seem to go a whole game without getting bombed for at least an inning. When you give up back to back homers to Marco Scutaro, and Donnie Murphy, (who are both about 5′ 10″) something is definitely wrong. At 28, Rheinecker is getting a little old to be called a prospect – he’s a guy the Rangers need to decide the future of now.

  28. Jon – Really, what my whole point is, the Rangers need to stop settling for marginal ML-ready talent, and start picking up young guys with high ceilings. Look at the Chris Young for Adam Eaton deal last year. We trade Chris because he is shakey in his first couple of seasons in the bigs for a guy who is a marginal talent but he’s ‘ready to contribute now’, and Young is now one of the best pitchers in baseball. I’m tired of getting marginal talent, but the Rangers take them simply because ‘they’re ready to pitch now’…Come on.

    We weren’t getting a guy like Clayton Kershawn or Clay Bucholz, but they’re on the right track getting a high ceiling, near MLB ready young lefty in Harrison rather than settling for a guy like Joe Saunders who has all of 10 decent ML starts under his belt. Dude gets rocked last night, but gets a W because his offense bails him out. He’s gotten over 5 runs of support in nearly every single one of his starts, and he’s playing in a relatively pitcher friendly park. He may prove me wrong, but from everything I’ve read, he’s not more than a decent 4/5 option on a good team, and the Rangers need to set their hopes higher than that. We’ll see how it plays out.

  29. “I think you’re underestimating Joe Saunders a little – he’s performed phenominally for the Angels this year – it looks like he’s having a breakout season. I’m not saying he’s gonna be Johan Santana, but his stats look like he has a future a heck of a lot better than a 4th-5th starter for his entire career.”

    Saunders minor league statistics are quite pedestrian for a 26 year old (including a 5.11 ERA this season in AAA in 14 starts). I’d guess his early MLB success will more likely end up being an abberation than a sign of better things to come.

    As a 21 year old – Harrison appears to have a significantly higher upside than Saunders when just looking at the minor league stats. Don’t know about the injury. Time will tell.

  30. You may be corect, Statman – but minor league stats are not everything. MLB stats are all that matter. As Jmay said, we’ll just have to wait and see – and on that note, since Saunders is still an Angel, let’s hope you are right – that way we might have a chance of actually beating the Halos in a couple years.

  31. hahahahahahahaha this is great….

  32. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    What a dope!

  33. How .. and it’s now 2 years since this maniacal blog entry was coughed up … can anyone who has any insight into baseball, much less a fan of 27 years (really?) even think in the terms blathered up above. The “I read the wrong translation, it wasn’t really a Bible” award goes to the paragraphs enumerating what the Rangers got back from Atlanta. Given the elapsed time, plus the kudos for Gabbard, this is almost hilariously wrong-headed.

    Somebody owes me 3 minutes of my life back.

  34. kason gabbard? lol.

  35. Yeah, things look quite a bit different now.

  36. I bet you like the trade now don’t you??! LOL!

  37. Isn’t it funny how someone who is shortsighted and full of answers and criticisms for others usually ends up looking like the biggest fool… insert egg on face comments….. here.

  38. I bet you feel dumb now.

    Jon Daniels is greater than you’ll ever be. Check your facts next time, num nuts.

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