Category Archives: Kevin West

Will a Teixeira Trade Help the Red Sox Win the Series?

Heading into the home stretch of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes, and all reports sound like Jon Daniels has done a good job of whipping up interest amongst the biggest players in MLB – the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels and Braves.

Of note, the Ranger-killing Yankees deserve a lot of credit for fanning the flames of interest in Tex.  Had they not turned things around in dramatic fashion in recent weeks, they probably wouldn’t still be interested in Teixeira, and neither would the Red Sox.  But with another classic Red Sox – Yankees chase gearing up, both teams could use the boost Teixeira offers.

As of today, the leading candidate is reported to be the Red Sox, which is confounding.  The Red Sox need outfield production.  Their infield has been producing well, so I wonder how they’d shuffle up to fit Tex in.

Meanwhile, lefty starter Kason Gabbard would be a great pick up for the Rangers.  The Rangers need a lefty-starter who’s major-league proven but young. Gabbard is 25 and has shown consistent improvement this year, posting a 3-0 mark (1 win vs. Texas) with a 1.93 era in 4 starts in July, including a complete game, 3-hit shut-out of KC.  I like the way this guy looks. Jon Lester has also been mentioned, but my gut tells me the Red Sox will hang on to him (and his inspiring story).  

A pairing of either promising prospect Clay Buchholz (AAA Pawtucket) or Michael Bowden (AA Portland) with Gabbard and throw-in 1B Jeff Bailey to man first until Nate Gold or Kevin West (both of whom have been getting plenty of at-bats in Oklahoma, which is another sign that the Rangers will be doing the smart thing and moving Tex now) are ready, and the Rangers would have a great deal while the Red Sox would have some extra might to stay ahead of the Yanks and likely be able to challenge the Tigers in the post-season this year and next (which is great as those are my 2nd and 3rd favorite teams).

The wrinkle here could be that the Red Sox are on a 5-game winning streak.  The Yankees are still hot, but despite going 8-2 in their last 10, are still 8 games back. The thred on which this opportunity may dangle could be how the Red Sox do at Cleveland and Tampa in their next five games before a day off on Monday to contemplate their situation on the eve of the non-waiver trade deadline.

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Texas to Trade Teixeira?

Word has it that the Rangers will likely trade Mark Teixeira this summer.  He’s a Boras client, and is signaling that he won’t extend his contract before it expires after 2008, meaning that he and Boras plan to test the free agent market.  And, it doesn’t look likely that Tex will sign with Texas. 

So, unlike their past track record where the Rangers have let valuable players walk away for nothing in free agency at the end of a season because they thought they had a chance at the division or at least keeping fans interested along the way (e.g. Pudge, Rogers, GMJ, DeRosa, etc.), their MLB-worst record may smack some sense into owner Tom Hicks and GM Little Jon DanielsHart, forcing them to trade Tex now while his value is high (and in my book – overrated as he’s maybe the 7th best 1B in the majors – although his Gold Glove and youth do bode well).

All kinds of rumors have been flying around, including ones about Giambi (see previous post) that I hope the Rangers won’t entertain.  But with two months to go before the trade deadline, and no reason other than health to move quickly, let’s first consider what the minimum price be for acquiring Tex should be? 

A #1-capable, in the league now pitcher tops the list.  As The Ballpark is not the place and the Rangers are not a team built to help pitching prospects turn the mental corner necessary to become a winning #1 pitcher, all teams offering prospects for Tex need not apply.  This includes the Yankees and Phil Hughes.  Hughes might become the next Clemens somewhere, but if sent to Texas, he’s more likely to become the next Ryan Drese.  If the rumors are true that the Yanks are interested in Tex, the talking should start with Chien-Ming Wang.  But with the health of the Yanks’ rotation this season, I don’t think that’s likely.  But whoever comes knocking better bring a guy of Wang’s caliber and credentials – potential that’s been turned into performance at the major-league level for at least two successful seasons and someone who would be a leading candidate to be start on opening day for the Rangers in 2008, sending Milwood, Padilla and company down a notch in the rotation where they belong.

Depending on the quality of the pitcher, the Teixeira suitor should also bring a corner outfielder to the table.  Someone who’s ready to start playing today.  Unlike pitching, the Ballpark and the Rangers ARE built to develop offensive talent, so this could be a prospect who’s about to (or better yet, has already begun to) break into major league form.  A guy who can learn fast from Rudy Jaramillo,  and be ready to start in one of the corner outfield spots next season.

Finally, the Rangers need someone to man first base for until at least 2009 when Nate Gold, Kevin West or James Fasano might be ready. 

And those three requirements are just the ante in the Teixeira Texas Trade ‘Em Tournament.