Category Archives: Kenny Rogers

Mid-Season Adjusted Ex-Men Rangers Roster

(View this post at the new Rangers or Robbers site

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post (which was a follow up to a series of posts in April), here’s a look at my team of recently-departed, still-active ex-Rangers, after some mid-season adjustments to the bullpen, and picking up recently made available additions to the impressive list of talented ex-Rangers (Teixeira, Lofton, Mahay & Gagne).

Lineup (with stats to date for this season: OBP/SLG/AVG):

1.  Kenny Lofton                   OF          L    (.369/.416/.296, 7hr, 25rbi, 67r, 21sb)
2.  Alfonso Soriano               LF           R    (.336/.511/.297; 18hr; 42rbi; 74r; 18sb)
3.  Carlos Lee                        RF          R    (.356/.536/.302; 24hr; 95rbi; 68r)
4.  Alex Rodriguez               SS/3B     R    (.407/.633/.300; 39hr; 114rbi; 107r; 14sb)
5.  Mark Teixeira                1B            S    (.388/.535/.291, 17hr, 61rbi, 56r)
6.  Adrian Gonzalez             DH/1B    L    (.339/.477/.265; 19hr; 68rbi; 64r)
7.  Mark DeRosa                  2B/U      R    (.363/.418/.288; 7hr; 54rbi; 40r) 
8.  Ivan Rodriguez               C             R    (.289/.426/.279; 9hr; 50rbi; 39r)
9.  Esteban German           3B/INF   R    (.372/.399/.284;   3hr;   29rbi;   36r; 8sb)
Bench
Rod Barajas                    C            R    (.343/.376/.214; 4hr; 9rbi; 15r)
Mike Lamb                     INF       L    (.375/.478/.296; 11hr; 34rbi; 40r)
Travis Hafner                DH/1B   L    (.380/.438/.254; 18hr; 70rbi; 58r)
Gary Matthews, Jr.       OF         S    (.338/.448/.275; 14hr; 65rbi; 67r, 12sb)

Starting Rotation
Chris Young                 R          (9-4; 2.02era; 119k; 44bb; 124.2ip)
Kenny Rodgers            L          (3-2; 5.23era; 17k; 12bb; 32.2ip)
Doug Davis                  L          (9-10; 3.81era; 101k; 76bb; 146.1ip)
John Danks                 L         (6-10; 5.22era; 22GS; 122.1ip; 96k; 46bb)
Adam Eaton                 R          (9-8; 6.36era; 82k; 57bb; 133ip)

Bullpen

CL:  Francisco Cordero            R          (36sv; 0-4; 3.14era; 66k; 17bb; 48.2ip)
SU:  Eric Gagne                         R          (16sv, 2-0, 3.62era, 39G, 37.1ip. 14bb, 34k)
Ron Mahay                                L          (3-0, 2.53era, 34G, 46.1ip)
Doug Brocail                              R          (4-1, 3.88era, 44G, 53.1ip)
Brian Shouse                             L          (1-1; 2.60era; 52G; 34.2ip)          
Ryan Bukvich                           R          (1-0, 2.96era, 31G, 27.1ip)
Aaron Fultz                               L          (3-2, 3.28era, 36G, 24.2ip)

Question: Could any other team put together a better 25-man roster consisting of players that have left their organization but are still playing?

The Marlins leap to mind as they’d have a great rotation of former Marlins, but just off the top of my head, I think there offense would be very weak.

Ex-Men Texas Rangers Roster

(READ THIS POST AT THE NEW HOME OF RANGERS OR ROBBERS: http://rangersorrobbers.blogspot.com)  

 

Probably the most fun I’ve had in drafting a blog post was in April when I looked at the team that could be formed using just recently departed, still active former Texas Rangers.

The point of that series of posts was to show clearly how bad the Rangers have bled talent out of their organization. To me, doing so is a clear indicator of Hicks’ terrible ownership and lack of commitment to winning.

It’s really almost magical the way Hicks and his front offices have run the Texas Rangers into the ground over the years.

Consider this magical disappearing act: Hicks managed to turn ARod into Soriano and then turn Soriano into Wilkerson (while still paying $7 million a year to the richest team in sports for ARod’s contract). That takes some real talent to in effect turn probably the most productive hitter into one of the worst!

Anyway, I thought I’d look back at the team of former Rangers I composed back in April and see how they’re doing (keep in mind that you have to grant me some dramatic license here as the salary of this team would be very unrealistic, but that’s not the point).

Lineup (with stats to date for this season: OBP/SLG/AVG):

1.  Esteban German          3B/INF   R    (.372/.399/.284;   3hr;   29rbi;   36r; 8sb)
2.  Gary Matthews, Jr.     CF          S   (.338/.448/.275; 14hr; 65rbi; 67r, 12sb)
3.  Alfonso Soriano          LF           R    (.336/.511/.297; 18hr; 42rbi; 74r; 18sb)
4.  Alex Rodriguez           SS/3B     R    (.407/.633/.300; 39hr; 114rbi; 107r; 14sb)
5.  Travis Hafner              DH/1B    L    (.380/.438/.254; 18hr; 70rbi; 58r)
6.  Carlos Lee                  RF          R    (.356/.536/.302; 24hr; 95rbi; 68r)
7.  Adrian Gonzalez          1B/DH    L    (.339/.477/.265; 19hr; 68rbi; 64r)
8.  Ivan Rodriguez            C            R    (.289/.426/.279; 9hr; 50rbi; 39r)
9.  Mark DeRosa             2B/U       R    (.363/.418/.288; 7hr; 54rbi; 40r) 

Bench
Rod Barajas                    C            R    (.343/.376/.214; 4hr; 9rbi; 15r)
Mike Lamb                     INF         L    (.375/.478/.296; 11hr; 34rbi; 40r)
David Dellucci                 OF          L    (.301/.389/.234; 4hr; 20rbi; 25r)

Starting Rotation
Kenny Rodgers            L          (3-2; 5.23era; 17k; 12bb; 32.2ip)
Chris Young                 R          (9-4; 2.02era; 119k; 44bb; 124.2ip)
Estaban Loaiza             R          Injured all season
Doug Davis                  L          (9-10; 3.81era; 101k; 76bb; 146.1ip)
Adam Eaton                 R          (9-8; 6.36era; 82k; 57bb; 133ip)

Bullpen

CL:  Francisco Cordero            R          (36sv; 0-4; 3.14era; 66k; 17bb; 48.2ip)
SU Bryan Corey                       R          Did not make an MLB roster
LR Chan Ho Park                    R          (0-1; 15.75era; 1GS)
MR Fabio Castro                     L          (12.27era; 5G; 3.2ip)
MR Darren Oliver                    L          (4.39era; 43G; 41ip; 31k; 15bb)
MR Brian Shouse                     L          (1-1; 2.60era; 52G; 34.2ip; 20k; 11bb)           
MR Aaron Sele                        R          (3-1; 4.12era; 25G; 43.2ip; 26k; 18bb)
MR Dan Kolb                          R          (9.00era; 3G; 3ip)
 

As with any team, I would have needed to make some early season adjustments.

Loaiza’s injury would have forced me to call on Danks (LHP; 6-10; 5.22era; 22GS; 122.1ip; 96k; 46bb) to fill his spot. Doug Davis’ surprising performance would be a plus. And with the offense and defense on this team, it’s safe to assume that each pitcher (maybe even Danks) would have several more wins based on their era’s. For the post-season, Young, Rogers and Davis would likely be more than enough to get the team through. 

The bullpen would have needed some major retooling, but there aren’t as many former Rangers out there to choose from for the bullpen as you might think. Nick Masset is one guy who probably would have been added to the ‘pen. Still, with Cordero closing, and Oliver, Shouse and Sele contributing, there’s a solid core to build around. 

The lineup would have been shuffled. Lamb and German would be platooning at 3B. Hafner, Lee and Gonzalez might have been shuffled around the order, and Dellucci would likely have been demoted and replaced.   

But still, wouldn’t this be some team!  

Now imagine adding in Teixeira, Gagne, Lofton and Mahay at the trade deadline!  

How many games do you think this team wins for the season? 

Announcing the 2008 Texas Rangers 25-Man Roster!

Well, since tonight’s game was rained out and the 2007 season has long been over, I thought I’d finish a post I’ve been thinking about for a while. 

I doubt I’m the only Rangers fan looking ahead to what might be in the cards for Texas in 2008.  If I were GM – and bi-POD Tom Hicks was willing to quit his hypocracy and take some meds for his bi-polar owner disorder to put some smart money where his mouth is – then this is what the Rangers would look like in 2008 (how new additions got here explained in parentheses):

Starters:

  • C –  Adam Melhuse
  • 1b – James Loney (Teixeira Trade) or Nate Gold
  • 2b – Kinsler
  • SS – Young 
  • 3b – Blalock
  • LF – Cruz
  • CF – Torri Hunter (FA)
  • RF – Marlon Byrd
  • DH – Sosa???????

Bench:

  •    C – Laird
  •   U – Catalanotto
  • OF – Botts
  •  IF – Ramon Vazquez

Rotation:

  1. Mark Buerhle (Free Agent)
  2. Kevin Millwood
  3. Zack Miner or Chad Billingsley (Teixeira Trade)
  4. Padilla
  5. McCarthy or Loe

Bullpen

  • R – Vasquez
  • R – Mahay
  • R – Benoit
  • R – Eyre
  • R – Murray
  • SU – Wilson
  • CL – Otsuka

The bullpen looks to be shaping up well.  Otsuka will likely be gone, but I’d keep him unless the offers are too good to refuse (and would then sign one of several FAs that will be on the market this offseason).

The rotation is much better with Buerhle taking the top spot and Miner or Billingsley in the middle, putting Millwood at #2 and Padilla at #4, which are spots they’re more suited for.  Buerhle would be my big signing.  I know his velocity is down.  But we need a lefty, and he keeps reminding me of Kenny Rogers (with a better attitude).  The guy just knows how to pitch and win.  Is it a Championship caliber rotation – no.  But it’s a big step in the right direction.

The offense will be better.  I worry about no big bat to replace Teixeira, but if Hunter could repeat his current season, he’d make up for much of the lost production.  Also, Sosa is listed as a question mark.  He’d have to cut down on his K’s for me to keep him.  If he can’t do that, I’d sign an aging power bat to come in, provide some production, and be a veteran presence while contributing to a building sense for winning.  But knowing next year is a stepping stone toward real, sustainable competitiveness, I like the look of the order and the opportunity for some prospects to show if they can bust out.  If not, I’d chase a big signing after the ’08 season.

My expectation would be for this team to finish somewhere just north of .500.  But expectations for 2009 would be to contend in the West, win it in ’10 and make real runs into the playoffs from 2010 – 2012.

BTW, I also happen to think this is Hicks’ plan because it syncs with his business interests, but more on that another time.

Rangers Need to Trade Mark Teixeira, but Are Hicks and Daniels Going to Miss the Boat (Again)?

Agent Zero and BigDSports share some good insights through comments to my previous post.  Maybe a Teixeira trade with Detroit won’t happen, maybe it will.  Maybe the Rangers are aiming high now to test the market value for Teixeira, but I’m more concerned that they’re not bluffing when they say they want to keep Tex.  Why in the world would the do that?

Hey, he’s one of my favorie players, and I’ll be sad to see him leave.  I’ll root for him wherever he goes.  But the reality is – he’s leaving one way or another by the 2009 season.  All indications are that last winter was the last chance the Rangers had to extend his contract.  In not doing so, the Rangers led Boras and Tex to make the right business decision to wait and play the free agent market.  It would take crazy money for the Rangers to keep them from getting there, but then again Hicks does have a unique track record for successfully bidding against himself.

In the meantime, Teixeira is the ONLY chip the Rangers have to shorten the rebuilding process by several years.  Trading Tex for young major-league-ready-to-break-out starters (but not pure prospects likely to flame out as Rangers) is the only chance Texas has to improve its starting rotation in 1-2 seasons instead of 3-5.  And, the improvements would likely be more significant in addition to being more expedient.  But Hicks and team have shown an amazing capability for missing such chances.

Despite them being two of my favorite players – the Rangers should have traded Pudge and Kenny Rogers for some arms instead of letting them walk, and they should have gotten arms instead of Soriano for Alex Rodriguez. 

It just hit me how ridiculous the logic is behind us being told that “the Yankees and Soriano were the only option for moving ARod.”  I seriously doubt there wasn’t a way to get creative and find another team willing to trade a pitcher or three – or to get an arm out of the Yankees.  With the Rangers paying almost 1/3 of ARod’s contract, some other team could have been sold on trading for ARod for a salary impact of about $17M/yr to them. The true numbers are a bit of a shell game but the Yankees are paying a 40% luxury tax on ARod’s $25M – an extra $10M more than almost any other team would have to pay.  So ARod is costing the Yanks about $27M (in addition to the approximate $7 million the Rangers are paying for ARod to play in NY).  Nobody else wonder if Boston, LAD, NYM, either Chicago team, and maybe the Giants or Astros would’ve taken the bait?  And ARod wanted out of Texas so bad he would have gladly waived his no trade for a team in contention.  NYY were top of his list, sure, but he and Boras kicked Hicks’ and Hart’s rears in negotiations coming and going.  Sad.

And we sure should have gotten more for Soriano, not to mention the idiotic Juan Gonzalez trade. 

Maybe Hicks and DanielsHart only like to screw up trade opportunities involving MVPs.

Oh… no, they even screw up deals involving bullpen guys, like Francisco Cordero.

Will they, can they learn?  Tex is leaving.  Unless they overpay for him, he’s probably going to be a Yankee in ’09.  So trade him now (meaning as soon as he’s back from the DL and proves that he’s healthy and productive) while the extra season remaining on his contract can command more value than the pure rent-a-player deals that would be available next year.

So my last post may have been a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to Detroit’s moves.  Maybe a Detroit trade will happen, maybe it won’t.  Bottom line – Hicks and DanielsHart better trade Teixeira while his value can command the pitching talent the Rangers need. 

Teixeira Traded to Tigers! Texas Takes Three!

As outlined in the previous post, the Tigers would benefit A LOT from taking Teixeira from Texas.  But what could Texas get for him?

Of course that depends on a few variables.  Do they pair Tex with a bullpen arm?  Are Kenny Rogers and Nate Robertson back and playing well when the trigger is pulled on the trade?  Is Tex injury free and in good form at the time of the trade?  Are Tom Hicks and Little Jon DanielsHart finally going to be focused and smart enough to make a trade that benefits their team at least as much as the one they deal with (unlike recent deals with Milwaukee and San Diego)?

For the purposes of this post, let’s assume the answers to the last three questions are all yes (I know that’s a stretch for the last one).  For the first question, let’s assume they trade Tex straight up, although a commenter to the previous post made a great point that adding Gagne (for contractual/financial/health reasons, it would be Gagne, not Otsuka) to the deal would make it extra rich for Detroit as they need bullpen help.

So who does Texas take for Tex?

First, Texas would have to take Sean Casey.  The Tigers won’t carry an under-performng Casey (.341/.345/.280 with no HRs and only 19 RBIs in baseball’s most productive lineup this year) and Tex through the end of the year.  Texas will do Detroit the favor of not forcing them to waste a roster spot or any AAA at-bats with Casey who’s contract ends this year.  And, Casey may actually perform decently in the lefty-batter friendly Ballpark, although Comerica Park isn’t exactly unfriendly to lefty batters.  Also, maybe Casey can share some wisdom for Jason Botts (if DanielsHart ever pulls his head out of his keister and gets Botts up to Arlington), who should get a shot at earning the 1B job for the long-term.

Next, the Rangers turn to the mound.  Remember that Texas can’t develop pitching, so they don’t want to take any of the Tigers’ pure prospects.  Texas needs pitchers who have developed past prospect status and already turned the corner into becomming a bonified major league pitcher.

That’s why the Rangers take Andew Miller.  He’s a lefty, which the Rangers need and which matters in The Ballpark, who’s young but has already had some success at the Major League level.  Texas would be better to get someone with at least a full year of major league starting experience, opposed to just two starts and some bullpen work last season.  But Miller nearly made Detroit’s World Series roster, and all accounts have him on track to become a stud.  He’s signed through 2009, which means the Rangers would get at least 2 meaningful years of service out of him.  And, by the 2009 season, he and the Rangers could both be ready to reach new heights.

But wait, there’s more!

As Miller is just barely out of prospect status (actually he’s still listed as a prospect by Baseball America – #10), it’s going to take more for Texas to part with Tex.  Casey’s a throw-away throw-in that amounts to addition by subtraction for the Tigers.  And Teixeira for Miller straight up would be a Jon Hart caliber deal (that means it would suck for Texas).  That’s why Texas also takes Zach Miner. 

Too much, you say?  Not if the Tigers really do want to win it all now and maybe next year.  They need help at first base, and with no notable firstbasemen heading toward free agency this winter, 1b talent may demand a premium since there won’t be any good rent-a-player deals to be had.  With the surprising emergence of Chad Durbin’s career-best early performance (he’d be the Rangers’ fall-back request if the Tigers balk at Miner), Zach’s already been relegated to the bullpen, even without Kenny Rogers in the rotation.  So when Kenny returns and another starter loses their place in the Tigers’ rotation (likely Nate Robertson), then Zach’s heading backwards fast.  The Tigers are hurting in the ‘pen, but when Joel Zumaya and Roman Colon return to health and Robertson heads to the ‘pen, they’ll be looking a lot better and can get by without Miner who can’t really be happy out there.  Plus, the Tigers will still have chances to grab more relief help through another trade (or maybe this is where Gagne comes into the picture, but the Tigers would then need to add a decent near-ready outfield prospect – not quite Cameron Maybin, though).

So it comes down to this – are the Tigers willing to part with two pitchers who would never be more than 3rd or 4th in their starting rotation (that’s how loaded they are with starting pitching) to have a terrific shot at possibly two World Series titles?

I was in Detroit for my grandfather’s funeral last fall when the Tigers were making their post-season run.  In fact, my family and I visited Comerica Park the afternoon of October 14th.  Game 4 of the ALCS was scheduled that night, and downtown Detroit was already abuzz by late morning.  Later that evening, I was watching the game at a bar playing quarter video poker in the MotorCity Casino while waiting for a seat at a Texas Hold ‘Em table when Magglio Ordonez hit his 3-run walk-off homer to complete the sweep of the A’s and send the Tigers to the World Series.  The place went nuts.  The city went nuts (but remarkably no cars were burned that night). 

Detroit’s had a taste of what championship baseball feels like, and that can be addictive.  I think they want to complete the worst to World Champions fairytale that the Cardinals rudely interrupted last year.  And I think they may want two bites at that apple.  With Tex adding switch-hitting power and a solid average to their lineup and Gold Glove defense at first base, I think the Tigers do the deal, and win at least one World Series because of it.

And, don’t discount the fact that Scott Boras, Teixeira’s agent, would probably love to see this deal happen.  As most other contenders have first base covered, getting Tex probably the best opportunity available for him to ride in and make significant contributions to one or two championships would make his value skyrocket by his free agent winter in ’09 when the Yankees would be primed to snatch him up at a ridiculous price.  (I don’t see the Yankees having what it would take to get Tex this season – and I don’t think Tex is ready to play in New York yet.)  As much power as Boras weilds, his backdoor lobbying for this deal could help make it happen.

Meanwhile, the Rangers get two guys who may not headline, but could certainly anchor their rotation as at least real #2 and #3 pitchers.  And with lots of free agent outfielders on the market this winter (Torri Hunter – having a career year in his FA season and on his way to a 7th straight Gold Glove – should be taming The Ballpark’s centerfield next season), the Rangers could turn things around quickly.

P.S.  As the Tigers are my second favorite team and Tex is a favorite player of mine, this would thrill me on several levels.  My favorite team gets back on track, while my second favorite team could win a ring or two with the help of a good guy in Tex who deserves better than to languish with the bottom-dwelling Rangers.  And who knows, maybe we’ll have a new owner by 2009 who would be willing to pay to get Tex back here to help charge up the Rangers return to contention!

Teixeira Traded to Tigers!

A few weeks after Mark Teixeira returns from the DL and, hopefully, gets into form again quickly to prove his value hasn’t slipped, the title of this post should become a real sports pages headline.

After thinking long and hard, and researching who’s out there, what team(s) could benefit most from adding Teixeira and who can offer what the Rangers must get in return for Tex, Detroit looks to be the most likely destination. 

Consider what the Tigers have to gain.  By adding Teixeira – a significant upgrade offensively and defensively compared to Sean Casey – to their already potent lineup, they could continue to out slug anybody in baseball. 

They already rank first in the majors in almost every major offensive statistic.  But that is being driven by a career, MVP-pace season from Maglio Ordonez, career years from Placido Polonco and Omar Infante, and a power resurgance from Gary Sheffield.  One or two of those guys are bound to cool off – or worse, get hurt – for at least some stretch of the season.  And in the hyper-competitive AL Central, a couple of slumps could send the Tigers into third place and out of the playoffs in no time flat.

On the mound, there’s no organization with more major-league proven talent for starting pitchers.  Verlander and Bonderman will headline their rotation for years to come.  And with Kenny Rogers getting close to returning, if he’s just 75% as good as last year, then Chad Durbin and Mike Maroth (both pitching well this season) with continue to thrive in the 4 and 5 spots.  That sends Nate Robertson and his tired arm to the Tigers bullpen for long relief and spot starts. 

With Rogers back and Teixeira providing added insurance against a slump or two sending the Tigers offense sputtering out of contention, the Tigers would be favored to win the Central, return to, and likely win the World Series this season.  And they’d still have Tex next year to make a run in ’08 to then be the first team to repeat since the 2000 Yankees.  That’s how good the Tigers could be, and that’s what’s on the table for them if they grab Teixeira.

So what do the Rangers get in return?  A chance to climb out of the celler of MLB and the AL West – fast.  More on that tomorrow…