According to T.R. Sullivan’s blog post today:
“Rangers officials are saying there appears to be more interest in Akinori Otsuka and a greater need for setup relief than there is for Eric Gagne or a closer.”
If Jon Daniels can’t close a valuable deal for Gagne (that for a change benefits the Rangers more than the team he trades with), then he’s more in over his head than anyone thought! First, how stupid is it to announce that there’s no interest in Gagne? If you’re really shopping him, you don’t announce that there’s no demand.
What’s more likely is that the above statement is bogus positioning for rationalizing why the Rangers may make a bad decision and resign Gagne, which has been discusseda lot lately – especially since Gagne really seems to like it here. But Daniels should be able to get some return value for trading Gagne, and when a team needs a lot of new pieces to become competitive, you trade a free agent who has value and get some of those pieces. Then, if you want, turn around and bring Gagne back in the winter.
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?”