If Signing Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder Are Mutually Exclusive, The Texas Rangers Might Be Better Off If Darvish Returns to Japan

Categories: Sports

Yu_Darvish_drinking_water.jpg
Yu Darvish better be as good as he thinks he is, or else Texas is gonna have a tough time battling the Yankees and Angels this year.
As Wednesday's 4 p.m. deadline nears in the negotiations between the Texas Rangers and Yu Darvish, the most significant hang-up is reportedly the 25-year-old's request for a five-year contract and the team's preference for a six-year deal, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan. Understandably, Darvish aims to become a free agent as soon as possible so he can field offers from the 29 other clubs (and get away from the heat), while Texas wants to maximize its return on the $51.7 million posting fee that's due if a contract is signed.

The Rangers appear to have the upper hand since Darvish can either take their best offer or return to Japan for less dough, but there's tremendous pressure on the organization to ink the highly touted right-hander, so it's in both parties' best interests to meet somewhere in the middle (perhaps a club option for the sixth year). Sources told Passan that the relationship between the club and Darvish is "strong and respectful," and Passan says the probability of Darvish returning to Japan is "minimal."

Even though agreeing to terms with Darvish greatly improves the Rangers' chances of a rare third-straight World Series appearance this season, their path is also far more difficult given the offseason acquisitions of Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson and Chris Iannetta by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Friday's big news that the New York Yankees added two significant rotation pieces by trading for Michael Pineda and signing their own former Japanese hurler: free agent Hiroki Kuroda, who turns 37 in February and had a 3.07 ERA and 161 strikeouts last year with the Dodgers. New York is also talking to free agents Carlos Pena and Johnny Damon to fill its opening at designated hitter.

The Angels now feature one of baseball's deepest and best starting rotations with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Wilson. And Pujols and Iannetta, along with the return of Kendrys Morales from a broken leg, give a major boost to a lineup that scored fewer runs last year than Kansas City, Baltimore and Cleveland. The Angels also signed second baseman Howie Kendrick to a four-year, $33.5 million extension.

And while there are legitimate questions about whether Pineda and Kuroda can successfully move from pitcher-friendly ballparks in Seattle and Los Angeles into hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, not to mention the increased media attention that comes with it, New York is unquestionably a better team than it was in 2011 as well.

Pineda, who has ace potential and turns just 23 years old on Wednesday, posted the lowest opponent batting average against right-handed hitters (.184), recorded the fifth-highest average fastball velocity among starting pitchers (94.5 mph) and had the fifth-highest fastball miss percentage among starters (20.4) as a rookie last year.

He's a physical beast at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds and features a dominating fastball and wicked slider. Pineda's only potential drawbacks are his splits at home (2.92 ERA) compared to the road (4.40 ERA) and second-half collapse, during which he had a 5.12 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.

Although the Mariners landed coveted catcher-DH prospect Jesus Montero in an effort to improve an offense that had the lowest batting average (.233) of any American League team in the DH era, along with pitching prospect Hector Noesi, the deal has been largely scored as a win for New York, which also received 19-year-old Jose Campos -- the "lottery ticket" in the deal, according to ESPN's Keith Law.

The trade triggered two obvious questions that may never be answered: If the Mariners' brass thought so highly of Montero, then why did they back out of a trade last year when he was a part of the Yankees' proposal for Cliff Lee? And why wouldn't Seattle instead move ace Felix Hernandez, who is under club control for two fewer years than Pineda at a considerably higher price ($58 million total) and would have yielded a better and larger package of prospects?

Michael_Pineda_baseballcard.jpg
On Friday, Michael Pineda joined Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez as young hurlers with huge upside that have swapped jerseys this offseason.
The deal also continued a surprising trend of young, high-upside pitchers finding new homes this offseason, with Oakland trading Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey, San Diego sending Mat Latos to Cincinnati, Arizona parting with Jarrod Parker in the deal for Cahill and the Cubs dealing Andrew Cashner for young first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals subsequently agreed to a five-year, $42 million contract with two club options that could raise the value to $65 million.

It's difficult to speculate what the Rangers would have needed to part with for the likes of Pineda, Gonzalez and Latos, and it's unknown whether their former teams had an interest in dealing with Texas. But, unlike Darvish, those three starters have major-league track records of success, albeit for a relatively short period of time. And, unlike Darvish, they cost highly ranked prospects, while Darvish costs only money.

However, payroll flexibility is just as important as holding on to unproven prospects, as far as I'm concerned.

Case in point: Although Texas met with free-agent slugger Prince Fielder on Friday at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas (as originally reported by USA Today's Bob Nightengale), it's believed that the Rangers only view him as Plan B should negotiations with Darvish go sour because they can only afford one of the two. (Although ESPN's Jim Bowden claims the meeting went "extremely well" and that Texas can afford both players.)

This, well, sucks. Even before the World Series had concluded, I was the first to advocate inking Fielder as a replacement for Josh Hamilton, whose contract expires at the end of the year.

I won't rehash my reservations keeping Hamilton long term or my reasons for targeting Fielder, whose physique impressed the Rangers on Friday, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. And I also won't rehash the risks associated with potentially investing more money annually in Darvish than all other hurlers not named CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee.

ESPN's Matt Meyers says Texas "might be better off" if a deal between the Rangers and Darvish falls through, and while that scenario seems extremely unlikely, I wholeheartedly agree.

Gimme Fielder and Roy Oswalt, who's also still on the market, instead. Heck, the Rangers are committing at least $51.7 million toward the acquisition of Darvish, which is more than enough to sign Fielder (approximately $23 million annually) and Oswalt (around $8 to $9 million for one year) and would have been enough to pay for Kuroda (one year, $10 million) and closer Ryan Madson (one year, $8.5 million) too. Add on what Darvish could make in the first year of his contract (probably around $12.5 million), and Texas could have also afforded to ink Carlos Beltran, who signed for just two years and $26 million with St. Louis.

Make no mistake. Adding Darvish improves the Rangers. But he is The Great Unknown, and even Ron Washington knows he's not an opening day starter.

I have the utmost confidence in general manager Jon Daniels and his staff, and I'll be one of Darvish's biggest fans if he's signed as expected. But if adding Darvish and Joe Nathan are the only highlights of the offseason, the Rangers might not have enough to get past a revamped Angels' squad.

And even if they manage to get past the Angels in the AL West (although the additional wild card spot could be an option for either club if the postseason is expanded), the Evil Empire may be too much to handle in the playoffs with arguably the best bullpen trio in baseball (David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Mariano Rivera), one of the top offenses in baseball (ranked second last year to Boston) and a deep rotation that now features Sabathia, Pineda, Kuroda, Ivan Nova and one from a group including Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett. Top prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are also waiting in the wings.

By signing Darvish and bypassing other proven options, Texas would increase the already palpable pressure on Darvish twofold. If he's not spectacular, if he doesn't emerge quickly as a bona fide ace, if he doesn't put more butts in the seats, the Rangers will be left to ponder what could have been had the team parted with the prospects necessary to land Pineda, Latos or Gonzalez and/or spent their money instead on Fielder and another starter and reliever.

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matt
matt

I know this is just goofy fun, but think of the stinking lineup if they got fielder:

Kins - 2bAndrus - ssHamilton - lfBeltre - 3bFielder - 1bCruz - rfYoung - dhNapoli - cMartin (By the all star break / End of season - Wishful thinking, but mark it down ;-)) - cf

Wow. Just crazy from top to bottom...I dont even know how to make it work properly, lol.

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

Looks good, except I'd swap Young and Elvis and then Elvis and Nappy.

Storm_71
Storm_71

Nice job Sam thank for the story. I gotta disagree with you. The Rangers went strong after Darvish which made most of the other pitchers you mention not viable options due to the negotiations with Darvish after they won the bid. As far as Oswalt I think he would be a good fit in Texas. All Star cailber I don't think so but a good bottom of the rotation guy. But don't the Rangers already have those type of guys Harrison, Ogando and even Feldman to a some what lesser degree? As far as Colby being the openning day starter you gotta give that to him. If not only to ease the pressure from Darvish. I would even start Holland in the second game.

As far as Prince Fielder is concerned I think the Rangers will bring him on board as well. One would gotta think he would love to play here given the inviting porch in right. And from what I have heard he looks like he is in better shape now. The Rangers may be up against it this year money wise if both Darvish and Fielder are signed but I don't think they will persue Josh in the opem market and maybe rightfully so. So that opens up some funds to sign other "core" type guys. Please correct me if I am wrong but doesn't MY's money and contract come off the books at the end of 2014? If so that again opens up some cash.

I think a huge key for the Rangers will be if Leonys Martin can show he can play at a high level in center field (as reported in the story from BBTIA a couple of weeks ago). I don't see Josh or Nelly long term solutions in the out field. Do You?

Also I would take my chances with Ogando (assuming he moves to the pen), Adams, and Nathan head to head with Robertson, Soriano(had an adverage season last year) and Rivera(age has to catch up with him soon).

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

1. The Rangers were named by several sources as discussing Gio Gonzalez (and Andrew Bailey) with Billy Beane, so the Darvish situation didn't stop them from shopping around.

2. You're helping to make my case when you say you want to start Darvish third in the rotation "to ease the pressure." Ease the pressure? If this guy can't handle the pressure that comes with starting on opening day, then I don't want him on the team.

3. Young's contract actually expires a year earlier: after the 2013 season. But keep in mind what I wrote in the comments above: Nappy, Hambone, Cobra and Adams are free at the end of this year, with Cruz, Kinsler and Young the following year. Not to mention that Andrus, Feliz, etc. are making more each year through arbitration and that Holland needs an extension. Whatever savings there are after Young is re-signed for a lower amount will be already eaten up by trying to retain some of the core.

4. I agree that Martin's development is very important, and no, I don't view Hamilton and Cruz as long-term options. As great as both have been, some tough decisions need to be made, and their injury histories pose to much of a risk for the cash they'll be looking for.

5. Ogando-Adams-Nathan will certainly be a strong threesome, but I give the slight edge to the Yanks. Robertson might have been the game's best reliever last year; Soriano is likely to bounce back; and that's what people have been saying about Rivera for the last five years, and they've been wrong every time.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

4. I dont think you can sign both Hambone and Cruz, too many injuries, but dont you need to keep one of them around dont you?  and if so who would you rather have? 

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

Different injury issues. Hamstrings tend to be recurring problems. And while Sizemore has had a tough time coming back from a nagging knee injury, 150-plus games played and stats around his levels before the injury would go a long way to suggest his knee problems are behind him. Plus, he'd likely cost less than Cruz. He's a wild card for sure, but something worth considering, again, if he bounces back and can be had relatively cheap. And Ethier might stay in L.A. once the bankruptcy issue is settled, but they may instead sign Kershaw to a big extension and try to nab Cole Hamels or Matt Cain.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I like Ethier but if hte dodgers get our of BK, i dont see him going anywhere.  As for Sizemore, isnt he just a less powerful cruz, with the same injury issues during his career? 

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

Victorino and Cabrera are good options too, and, like Upton and Bourn, they can handle center field duties. I'd be on board with signing any of those four, along with taking a look-see at Ethier and possibly Sizemore if he has a bounce-back year.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Jeez, disqus killed the formatting on that other reply. any how the only 2 young guys on there are Upton and Bourn.  It looks to me like its developement from within or trade.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Sam the following is a list from MLBtraderumors .com http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/... here are the OF  Left fieldersScott Hairston (33)Josh Hamilton (32)Eric Hinske (35)Reed Johnson (36)Andruw Jones (36)Mark Kotsay (37)Carlos Lee (37)Ryan Ludwick (34) - mutual option for 2013Juan Rivera (34) - $4MM club option for 2013 with a $500K buyoutDelmon Young (27)Center fieldersAlfredo Amezaga (35)Michael Bourn (30)Marlon Byrd (35)Melky Cabrera (28)Mike Cameron (40)Curtis Granderson (32) - $13MM club option with a $2MM buyoutScott Hairston (33)Angel Pagan (31)Aaron Rowand (35)Grady Sizemore (30)B.J. Upton (28)Shane Victorino (32)Right fieldersLance Berkman (36)Matt Diaz (35)Andre Ethier (31)Torii Hunter (37)Andruw Jones (36)Mark Kotsay (37)Ryan Ludwick (34) - mutual option for 2013Carlos Quentin (30)Juan Rivera (34) - $4MM club option for 2013 with a $500K buyoutIchiro Suzuki (39)Nick Swisher (32)

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

If I was forced to choose, I'd rather keep Cruz because the financial investment will be much lower, and he obviously knows how to turn it on come playoff time. However, I wouldn't sign either player. To replace Hamilton, I might instead go after fellow free-agent-to-be B.J. Upton if the price is reasonable. I'm not immediately familiar with who will be available at the end of 2013, but there are always other options. Who knows? Maybe Texas deals from its deep farm system and trades for an outfielder of Cruz's caliber.

Storm_71
Storm_71

Valid points Sam very valid. I'm sure the Rangers had there feelers out on almost every pitcher like I'm sure most every team does. But if they are willing  to commit to Darvish one would think those negotiations would be on the front burner before any other serious big ticket talks could develope.

Sure we want to know Darvish can handle presure but why throw him straight into the fire of an openning day start if the Rangers don't have too. Rotation spots can always change as the early season moves along. This is not like a pitcher in the mold of lets say Cliff Lee who has been in MLB his whole career or even a Dic K this guy will have millions of eyes on him here and in Japan when he makes his first start. Why not give him the opportunity to settle in, take in a big league game or two from the bench instead of tossing him out there?

Ok this is debatable but who in this "core" should stay? I think we both agree Josh maybe more than likely gone if they sign Fielder or not. The same for Cruz just becasue he is strung as tight as a piano string. That leaves Nappy, Kins, Cobra, Andrus, Feliz and Beltre but he's locked up. How much would the Rangers be willing to invest in Colby at age what 33? I think Kins has to stay. Nappy from what I have read wants to test the open market. Was last year a fluke for him who knows. That's a tough decision as you said but one made easier if he regresses this year. Holland has to stay. Adams I don't know hopfully. That leaves Feliz and Andrus. The Feliz situation should pan itself out this year either he can start or not pretty easy. Andrus then, if Profar is as good as advertised could they not let him take the job?

Rangers, Yankees back end bull pens I mean could go either way.

Thanks for playing Sam any word on a blog of your own in the future?

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

Thanks for playing as well. I always enjoy the back-and-forth. As for my own blog, nothing new on that front yet, but you might find my work someplace else in the coming months, depending on how things work out. I'll keep y'all informed.

As for the core, I'd let Hambone and Cruz go elsewhere and try to retain the rest. Here's my priority list:

1. Nappy2. Holland3. Andrus4. Feliz5. Kinsler6. Colby7. Adams8. Young

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I like what Gentry did out there, hopefully his hitting will get better. What about Borbon? Are we just giving up on him? When Hamilton moves on, which I have a feeling he will, the defense is there but the offense is going to be suspect. The smart move it seems to me is to sign Fielder so you don't drop off much when Hamilton isn't re-signed. In any sense, I like what the Rangers have going for them.

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

I'm guessing Gentry, Borbon and Martin end up sharing time in center, since each is unlikely to win the job outright.

Storm_71
Storm_71

I like Gentry too and hope he can bridge the gap to Martin. Giving up on Borbon, no but he regressed last year pretty far. Yeah it would be a nice bonus if he could come back and improve if even maybe for some trade bait.

Nikki Taylor
Nikki Taylor

Can I get that picture in a poster size?

Cowbell_Rockstar
Cowbell_Rockstar

sign both fielder and darvish!

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

and then when Fielder starts to wither down two years in, and Darvish has a .450 era, and can only pitch 140 innings; look forward to 60-102, for 14 years.....be practical.  Fielder for 3 years, and Oswalt.  Atleast then, you can go head to head with the Angels-maybe.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Someone said the same thing once about Steve Nash. All he did was win 2 MVP's after that.

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

No way Fielder signs for only three years, but I’m notworried about giving him a long-term deal. He’s missed just 13games in his six seasons.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

1) I'd offer 4 years, and an all you can eat buffet.

2) Every rule has an exception. 

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

1. The Nationals are interested (to what extent remains to be seen), but I'm sure several other suitors would join in if his years dropped down to between five and seven.

2. Not always true. David Wells is a prime example. And, even if Fielder signs for seven years, he'll be just 34 when it ends. He might start breaking down at that point, but I wouldn't worry about it happening in his early 30s.

3. Great question. Same answer as who has the most raw power: It's a tie.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

1. The Nationals are interested (to what extent remains to be seen), but I'm sure several other suitors would join in if his years dropped down to between five and seven.

2. Not always true. David Wells is a prime example. And, even if Fielder signs for seven years, he'll be just 34 when it ends. He might start breaking down at that point, but I wouldn't worry about it happening in his early 30s.

3. Great question. Same answer as who has the most raw power: It's a tie.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

1. The Nationals are interested (to what extent remains to be seen), but I'm sure several other suitors would join in if his years dropped down to between five and seven.

2. Not always true. David Wells is a prime example. And, even if Fielder signs for seven years, he'll be just 34 when it ends. He might start breaking down at that point, but I wouldn't worry about it happening in his early 30s.

3. Great question. Same answer as who has the most raw power: It's a tie.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

two things Mertie Claus:

-who else is REALLY bidding on him?  -BIG guys break down fast.

ps-Who can destroy a buffet faster........Napoli or Prince? 

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

No way Fielder signs for only three years, but I'm not worried about giving him more. He's missed just 13 games in his six full seasons in the bigs.

Cowbell_Rockstar
Cowbell_Rockstar

gimmie a break there is no way fielder is going to wither down two years from now. the guy is only 27. pujols or better yet Josh Hamilton are more likely to wither down in two years..as far as darvish goes, well frankly i really dont know how things are going to work out with him but i do believe he is worth the risk and if the rangers choose not to make a deal with him I am also okay with that. Oswalt is a good consolation prize.

Cowbell_Rockstar
Cowbell_Rockstar

I still think Ogando can be a very good starting pitcher. He started last year great. Alot of people seem to forget that because of his struggles after the all star break. but me personally I still believe he can be a very good starting pitcher. long story short if Darvish does not sign we still have some very good in house candidates that can fit in to the rotation nicely(ogando, feldmen)

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Ok, well noted rock star man cowbell, dude.  Just sayin', folks, lets be practical........sometimes I think people will settle for two world series appearances, and no title!?   Lets not get cray cray. 

Guesty Guestopoli
Guesty Guestopoli

,,,,,,,give a major boost to a lineup that scored fewer runs last year than Kansas City, Baltimore and Cleveland"

KC finished 6th out of 14 AL teams last year in runs scored. What is the point in the KC comparison in attempting to demonstrate the Angels weak bats?

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

While the Royals finished sixth, they're hardly a dynamic offense. Sure, Eric Hosmer looks like a future All-Star and Alex Gordon made huge strides last year, but Gordon led the team with just 23 home runs, and their leader in batting average and runs (Melky Cabrera) was traded to the Giants.

Guesty McG
Guesty McG

Sorry, Sam, but other Guesty has a point.  KC had an above average offense in 2011 (6th in the AL, 10th or 11th in MLB).  COL and one other team (forget who) tied for second in runs scored in the NL with 735.  KC scored 730.  Not a meaningful difference.

I realize the AL and NL are different, but any way you slice it Kansas City's problem in 2011 wasn't the number of runs they scored, it was the number they allowed.

just sayin'
just sayin'

I dont put much into Pinerda's second half. He played for a team that put up one run a night and was in the cellar with no chance of doing anything. And everyone in baseball thought that it was nutty for Seattle to want Smoak over Montero. I think Pineda is going to have a big year for NY and the Yankees didnt have to part with Betances or Banuelos to get him. The Yankees could be big trouble if those guys live up to their hype this season.

The thing that concerns me about Darvish is that if he goes back to Japan for a year, he can negotiate with any team he damn well pleases without posting for the 2013 season. At least that is what I have read on other baseball sites. If that is truly the case, Nolan and the boys have their work cut out for them if Yu aint feeling the Texas heat.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

It's my understanding that Darvish has two more years in Japan before he can become a free agent, which means he can be posted again next year.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

You need help now-and you can't afford a mistake while gambling.  Let Darvish go back to Japan, and pick up Prince for less years than he's asking.  Who else is REALLY bidding on Prince?  AND, pitchers and catchers will be reporting soon.  You can get a free agent hurler for a relatively reasonable price. 

ps-Go Sawx; GO PAT's....great nutkickin' on Saturday. 

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

We get a sports item on Saturday and now Monday? I guess we're pumping more money into the glory hole!Good article as always Mert.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Wow, so this explains why Winter Carnival tickets are $50 this year.

Augie
Augie

I can't believe we are back to the sluggers beat pitchers mentality in these parts.  If there is anything the last few years has taught us, it is that in the playoffs, good pitching beats good hitting and you can never have enough good pitching.  Of course Darvish is a risk because of the unknown factor.  Still, many smart baseball people put him in very elite pitching company...ACE territory.  I'll take more pitching, thank you.

As for Fielder, there are as many twitments out there that the Rangers can afford both, as those like you quote saying it is one or the other.  The fact is, the Rangers keep it close to the vest and you, me and all the so called experts do not know what the Rangers really intend to do financially.  Remember, super increase in cash flow is right around the corner with the knew TV deal.  So, if there were ever a time to say, "I'll have the lot" this is it.    

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

If you read this as advocating for hitting over pitching as a general rule of thumb, then I urge you to reread it. I never wrote or implied such a thing.

Augie
Augie

You said you wholeheartedly agree that if Texas has to choose between the Prince and Yu, they'd be much better off if the Yu deal fell through allowing them to go after Prince.  That, was both the headline and the main crux of the story. So, yes, I take that to mean you feel in this case hitting (known superstar calibre hitting) is more important than pitching (unknown, high upside potential pitching).  That isn't an implication, but a fact, although, too broad a brush fact I admit.  

Sam Merten
Sam Merten

Here’s what you missed: I’m advocating for the combo ofPrince Fielder and RoyOswalt (and hopefully someone else). Ideally, the Rangers would have partedwith whatever prospects it took to get Pineda, Latos or Gonzalez.Unfortunately, those opportunities have passed, much like the chances to inkRyan Madson or Carlos Beltran to bargain deals.

Although he’s coming off a back injury, Ithink Oswalt has the same chance as Darvish of having an All-Star-caliber year.Both are dicey moves, but Oswalt’s price (probably less than $10 million) andyears (likely just one) represent far less risk, not to mention he has alengthy track record as an upper-tier starter in the major leagues.

Plus, it allows Texas to sign Fielder, which would give theRangers the best offense in the game. And there would be plenty of dough leftover to re-sign Mike Gonzalez, add Brad Lidge, Francisco Cordero or JasonIsringhausen to the bullpen and strengthen the bench by signing someone likeRick Ankiel, Wilson Betemit, Orlando Cabrera or Conor Jackson.

When Hamilton’sdeal expires, that frees up money to make offers to Cole Hamels, Matt Cain andZack Greinke, all of whom are free agents as well at the end of the year.

Of course, there is the chance that theRangers decide to do sign both Darvish and Fielder, especially as Fielder’sprice lowers with the void of big-spenders courting him. If that’s the plan,then great, but it seems unlikely that they can do both, especially with thecontracts of Hamilton, Lewis, Napoli and Adams expiring at the end of the yearand Young, Kinsler and Cruz set to be free at the end of 2013.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Here’s what you missed: I’m advocating for the combo of Prince Fielder and Roy Oswalt (and hopefully someone else). Ideally, the Rangers would have parted with whatever prospects it took to get Pineda, Latos or Gonzalez. Unfortunately, those opportunities have passed, much like the chances to ink Ryan Madson or Carlos Beltran to bargain deals.

Although he’s coming off a back injury, I think Oswalt has the same chance as Darvish of having an All-Star-caliber year. Both are dicey moves, but Oswalt’s price (probably less than $10 million) and years (likely just one) represent far less risk, not to mention he has a lengthy track record as an upper-tier starter in the major leagues.

Plus, it allows Texas to sign Fielder, which would give the Rangers the best offense in the game. And there would be plenty of dough left over to re-sign Mike Gonzalez, add Brad Lidge, Francisco Cordero or Jason Isringhausen to the bullpen and strengthen the bench by signing someone like Rick Ankiel, Wilson Betemit, Orlando Cabrera or Conor Jackson.

When Hamilton’s deal expires, that frees up money to make offers to Cole Hamels, Matt Cain and Zack Greinke, all of whom are free agents as well at the end of the year.

Of course, there is the chance that the Rangers decide to do sign both Darvish and Fielder, especially as Fielder’s price lowers with the void of big-spenders courting him. If that’s the plan, then great, but it seems unlikely that they can do both, especially with the contracts of Hamilton, Lewis, Napoli and Adams expiring at the end of the year and Young, Kinsler and Cruz set to be free at the end of 2013.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Here’s what you missed: I’m advocating for the combo ofPrince Fielder and RoyOswalt (and hopefully someone else). Ideally, the Rangers would have partedwith whatever prospects it took to get Pineda, Latos or Gonzalez.Unfortunately, those opportunities have passed, much like the chances to inkRyan Madson or Carlos Beltran to bargain deals.

Although he’scoming off a back injury, I think Oswalt has the same chance as Darvish ofhaving an All-Star-caliber year. Both are dicey moves, but Oswalt’s price(probably less than $10 million) and years (likely just one) represent far lessrisk, not to mention he has a lengthy track record as an upper-tier starter in the major leagues.

Plus, it allows Texas to sign Fielder,which would give the Rangers the best offense in the game. And there would beplenty of dough left over to re-sign Mike Gonzalez, add Brad Lidge, FranciscoCordero or Jason Isringhausen to the bullpen and strengthen the bench bysigning someone like Rick Ankiel, Wilson Betemit, Orlando Cabrera or ConorJackson.

When Hamilton’s deal expires,that frees up money to make offers to Cole Hamels, Matt Cain and Zack Greinke,all of whom are free agents as well at the end of the year.

Of course, there isthe chance that the Rangers decide to do sign both Darvish and Fielder,especially as Fielder’s price lowers with the void of big-spenders courtinghim. If that’s the plan, then great, but it seems unlikely that they can doboth, especially with the contracts of Hamilton, Lewis, Napoli and Adams expiringat the end of the year and Young, Kinsler and Cruz set to be free at the end of2013.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Here’s what you missed: I’m advocating for the combo ofPrince Fielder and RoyOswalt (and hopefully someone else). Ideally, the Rangers would have partedwith whatever prospects it took to get Pineda, Latos or Gonzalez.Unfortunately, those opportunities have passed, much like the chances to inkRyan Madson or Carlos Beltran to bargain deals.

Although he’scoming off a back injury, I think Oswalt has the same chance as Darvish ofhaving an All-Star-caliber year. Both are dicey moves, but Oswalt’s price(probably less than $10 million) and years (likely just one) represent far lessrisk, not to mention he has a lengthy track record as an upper-tier starter in the major leagues.

Plus, it allows Texas to sign Fielder,which would give the Rangers the best offense in the game. And there would beplenty of dough left over to re-sign Mike Gonzalez, add Brad Lidge, FranciscoCordero or Jason Isringhausen to the bullpen and strengthen the bench bysigning someone like Rick Ankiel, Wilson Betemit, Orlando Cabrera or ConorJackson.

When Hamilton’s deal expires,that frees up money to make offers to Cole Hamels, Matt Cain and Zack Greinke,all of whom are free agents as well at the end of the year.

Of course, there isthe chance that the Rangers decide to do sign both Darvish and Fielder,especially as Fielder’s price lowers with the void of big-spenders courtinghim. If that’s the plan, then great, but it seems unlikely that they can doboth, especially with the contracts of Hamilton, Lewis, Napoli and Adams expiringat the end of the year and Young, Kinsler and Cruz set to be free at the end of2013.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Here’s what you missed: I’m advocating for the combo of Prince Fielder and Roy Oswalt (and hopefully someone else). Ideally, the Rangers would have parted with whatever prospects it took to get Pineda, Latos or Gonzalez. Unfortunately, those opportunities have passed, much like the chances to ink Ryan Madson or Carlos Beltran to bargain deals.

Although he’s coming off a back injury, I think Oswalt has the same chance as Darvish of having an All-Star-caliber year. Both are dicey moves, but Oswalt’s price (probably less than $10 million) and years (likely just one) represent far less risk, not to mention he has a lengthy track record as an upper-tier starter in the major leagues.

Plus, it allows Texas to sign Fielder, which would give the Rangers the best offense in the game. And there would be plenty of dough left over to re-sign Mike Gonzalez, add Brad Lidge, Francisco Cordero or Jason Isringhausen to the bullpen and strengthen the bench by signing someone like Rick Ankiel, Wilson Betemit, Orlando Cabrera or Conor Jackson.

When Hamilton’s deal expires, that frees up money to make offers to Cole Hamels, Matt Cain and Zack Greinke, all of whom are free agents as well at the end of the year.

Of course, there is the chance that the Rangers decide to do sign both Darvish and Fielder, especially as Fielder’s price lowers with the void of big-spenders courting him. If that’s the plan, then great, but it seems unlikely that they can do both, especially with the contracts of Hamilton, Lewis, Napoli and Adams expiring at the end of the year and Young, Kinsler and Cruz set to be free at the end of 2013.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Here’s what you missed: I’m advocating for the combo ofPrince Fielder and Roy Oswalt (and hopefully someone else).Ideally, the Rangers would have parted with whatever prospects it took to getPineda, Latos or Gonzalez. Unfortunately, those opportunities have passed, muchlike the chances to ink Ryan Madson or Carlos Beltran to bargain deals.

 

Although he’s coming off a back injury, I think Oswalt hasthe same chance as Darvish of having an All-Star-caliber year. Both are diceymoves, but Oswalt’s price (probably less than $10 million) and years (likelyjust one) represent far less risk, not to mention he has a lengthy track recordas an upper-tier starter in the major leagues.

 

Plus, it allows Texasto sign Fielder, which would give the Rangers the best offense in the game. Andthere would be plenty of dough left over to re-sign Mike Gonzalez, add BradLidge, Francisco Cordero or Jason Isringhausen to the bullpen and strengthen thebench by signing someone like Rick Ankiel, Wilson Betemit, Orlando Cabrera orConor Jackson.

 

When Hamilton’sdeal expires, that frees up money to make offers to Cole Hamels, Matt Cain andZack Greinke, all of whom are free agents as well at the end of the year.

 

Of course, there is the chance that the Rangers decide to dosign both Darvish and Fielder, especially as Fielder’s price lowers with thevoid of big-spenders courting him. If that’s the plan, then great, but it seemsunlikely that they can do both, especially with the contracts of Hamilton,Lewis, Napoli and Adams expiring at the end of the year and Young, Kinsler andCruz set to be free at the end of 2013.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Here’s what you missed: I’m advocating for the combo ofPrince Fielder and Roy Oswalt (and hopefully someone else).Ideally, the Rangers would have parted with whatever prospects it took to getPineda, Latos or Gonzalez. Unfortunately, those opportunities have passed, muchlike the chances to ink Ryan Madson or Carlos Beltran to bargain deals.

 

Although he’s coming off a back injury, I think Oswalt hasthe same chance as Darvish of having an All-Star-caliber year. Both are diceymoves, but Oswalt’s price (probably less than $10 million) and years (likelyjust one) represent far less risk, not to mention he has a lengthy track recordas an upper-tier starter in the major leagues.

 

Plus, it allows Texasto sign Fielder, which would give the Rangers the best offense in the game. Andthere would be plenty of dough left over to re-sign Mike Gonzalez, add BradLidge, Francisco Cordero or Jason Isringhausen to the bullpen and strengthen thebench by signing someone like Rick Ankiel, Wilson Betemit, Orlando Cabrera orConor Jackson.

 

When Hamilton’sdeal expires, that frees up money to make offers to Cole Hamels, Matt Cain andZack Greinke, all of whom are free agents as well at the end of the year.

 

Of course, there is the chance that the Rangers decide to dosign both Darvish and Fielder, especially as Fielder’s price lowers with thevoid of big-spenders courting him. If that’s the plan, then great, but it seemsunlikely that they can do both, especially with the contracts of Hamilton,Lewis, Napoli and Adams expiring at the end of the year and Young, Kinsler andCruz set to be free at the end of 2013.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Here’s what you missed: I’m advocating for the combo of Prince Fielder and Roy Oswalt (and hopefully someone else). Ideally, the Rangers would have parted with whatever prospects it took to get Pineda, Latos or Gonzalez. Unfortunately, those opportunities have passed, much like the chances to ink Ryan Madson or Carlos Beltran to bargain deals.

Although he’s coming off a back injury, I think Oswalt has the same chance as Darvish of having an All-Star-caliber year. Both are dicey moves, but Oswalt’s price (probably less than $10 million) and years (likely just one) represent far less risk, not to mention he has a lengthy track record as an upper-tier starter in the major leagues.

Plus, it allows Texas to sign Fielder, which would give the Rangers the best offense in the game. And there would be plenty of dough left over to re-sign Mike Gonzalez, add Brad Lidge, Francisco Cordero or Jason Isringhausen to the bullpen and strengthen the bench by signing someone like Rick Ankiel, Wilson Betemit, Orlando Cabrera or Conor Jackson.

When Hamilton’s deal expires, that frees up money to make offers to Cole Hamels, Matt Cain and Zack Greinke, all of whom are free agents as well at the end of the year.

Of course, there is the chance that the Rangers decide to sign both Darvish and Fielder, especially as Fielder’s price lowers with the void of big-spenders courting him. If that’s the plan, then great, but it seems unlikely that they can do both, especially with the contracts of Hamilton, Lewis, Napoli and Adams expiring at the end of the year and Young, Kinsler and Cruz set to be free at the end of 2013.

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