Saturday, December 23, 2006

Danks and Masset headed for the Windy City

Written by Dan in Texas

In a shocking trade today the Texas Rangers sent number one pitching prospect John Danks, highly thought of reliever Nick Masset and Jacob Rasner in exchange for Brandon McCarthy a 23 year old left-handed starter and David Paisano.

Lets not dwell on Danks potential and just take a look at the highly touted Brandon McCarthy.

Here is the scouting report on McCarthy:

Assets: Mixes a two-seamer and a four-seamer in the low-90s with a strong curveball to garner more strikeouts you'd expect from that kind of stuff. Also boasts terrific command.

Flaws: Leaves the ball up a little too often to right-handed hitters and watches the ball fly out of the park. Needs to improve his change-up.

Career potential: Solid mid-rotation starter.

For you stat-heads out there here are his 2006 big league numbers. He threw 84.2 innings for the White Sox year, starting two games and ended up with a 4.68 ERA striking out 69. He gave up 33 walks and 77 hits over those 84.2 innings (1.30 WHIP). His 2006 overall record was 4-7.

Doesn’t exactly knock your socks off, does it?

I have seen McCarthy compared to Jack McDowell and Barry Zito.

One might also think that the Rangers either are not serious about signing Barry Zito or they don’t feel confident that they can sign him. One could argue that the Rangers do feel confident they will land Zito; though the organization would not likely trade their number one prospect after touting him as the future of the organization in order to gain leverage over Scott Boras.

McCarthy figures to join the rotation immediately behind Padilla as either the third or fourth starter. The 6 foot 7 McCarthy was highly thought of in the White Sox organization, so much so that it was rumored that he was the sticking point in a trade for Alfonso Soriano mid season.

Though, if one puts stock in scouting reports, a pitcher who is susceptible to giving up long fly ball to right-handed hitters does not bode well for the Ballpark.

As far as David Paisano, a likely throw in, he is an outfielder that should be years away from big league service. T.R. Sullivan reports:

Paisano, 18, appeared in 52 games for the White Sox's Venezuelan Summer League team in 2006 and batted .338 with no home runs and 17 RBIs. A native of Venezuela, he played with Chicago's Dominican Summer League club in 2005 and hit .272 with three home runs and eight RBI in 49 games.

Bottom line, this isn’t a great trade nor an awful trade at this point in time. It should be clear to all Ranger fans, this trade has “come back to bite us in the ass” written all over it.

On a different subject, I have felt that Daniels taking over the General Manger position and dictating the direction of the club would be a positive thing. Tom Hicks keeping his hands off the organization and limiting his duties to press conferences and signing checks could only help the Rangers.

Unfortunately, it looks like Tom Hicks has taken over the negotiations with Barry Zito and his agent Scott Boras. The New York Post’s Michael Morrissey wrote earlier this week:

…a source told The Post yesterday that Rangers owner Tom Hicks is helming the charge to sign Zito in no uncertain terms.

Earlier this month, the source said, Hicks walked into a meeting and told his front-office people something to the effect of, "I'm taking over this negotiation now."

Let’s face it Ranger fans, regardless if the Rangers sign Zito or he goes elsewhere, the man who outbid himself to sign Alex Rodriquez to a $252 million dollar contract and gave Chan Ho Park a $65 million dollar deal should not come anywhere near a player negotiation for his club’s own good.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Winter Malaise, Cowboy Fear

By Dan in Texas

Well here we are, Ranger fans. Marlon Byrd, Vicente Padilla, Kenny Lofton, Eric Gagne and Frank Catalanotto. Are all going to be on the roster come April.

Is Barry Zito going to be there too? That shoe hasn’t dropped just yet and Rangers fans shouldn’t hold their breath, he may not sign until January. Time will tell, but for now I don’t have the patience to think about Scott Boras’s motives.

Here’s what’s exciting in Arlington: The Outfield. Now let me say, Vernon Wells talk would have been better, but I really don’t see him walking away from a reported 126 million dollar seven year contract extension. It was a wise preemptive move on the part of the Toronto Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi. Wells had stated publicly his interest to speak with the Ranger brass about returning to his home town of Arlington. Looks like that’s out the window barring some major change of thinking out of the Great White North. Take off, eh!

(Sigh) Why is the Rangers Centerfielder situation exciting? What’s the big deal about Kenny Lofton and his one year, six million dollar contract? The Rangers will likely head to Arizona with Kenny Lofton as the teams starting centerfielder. Nelson Cruz will be challenged to win that role in Surprise, Arizona. If the kid put’s up offensive and defensive performances as good or better than Lofton, he will be the Rangers centerfielder. I really feel Cruz could be one of the elites in the game in three years. If he can’t, next year the Rangers go centerfielder shopping; unfortunately Vernon Wells will be locked up until 2014.

The acquisition of Eric Gagne via free agency is promising; should Gagne recover from injury and return to past forms, the Rangers have an elite closer at a bargain price and a top notch set up man in Akinori Otsuka. If Gagne is through, Otsuka is a capable closer and the Rangers took a flyer on something that didn’t work out. That deal makes sense; one year at six million is very good for a pitcher with Gagne’s potential.

Not to get off the subject of baseball but if you haven’t seen the artist’s rendering of the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium (the Cowboys apparently really want you to know that it will hold a capacity of 80,000). I drove by the area the other day and the cranes are already up. I really don’t know if this will be good for Arlington. Sure it will get rid of the 12 pawn shops, 45 nail salons and that bar I thought was a salsa bar and almost got killed in. But what will take it’s place? The Rangers never really attracted the same type of crowd as the Cowboys. Are we going to see businesses set up to cater to the cocaine and boob job crowd who attend Cowboy’s games to be seen rather than watch the Cowboys? As always, in the DFW sports world the Cowboys occupy the stratosphere and the Rangers pick up the bread crumbs. Will the Rangers be relegated to their own little corner as Jerry Jones tries to push them into Six Flags? Will Jerry Jones make good on the promises issued when the Ballpark was built? Its 12 years after the place opened and the shops and restaurants surrounding the park are yet to be built.

My hope is the Cowboys and Rangers coexist as neighbors peacefully as neighbors; both reaping the benefits of mutual success, with each others success bolstering its counterpart.

My fear: the Cowboys culture dominates the Arlington area and as usual the Rangers are reduced to second, third and sometimes even fourth fiddle in their home town. The Rangers get the Sunday day game in 105 degree August weather while trying to win the West to make way for the Cowboy Sunday night game watching parties planned for the Cowboys’ second meeting with the Giants in East Rutherford.

In my vision, though it’s my fear, Kevin Millwood throws a no-hitter blanking the A’s through 9 as does Oakland and with two out, Nelson Cruz crushes a walkoff homerun off homerun to secure the West and provide the Rangers with homefield through out the playoffs. The Rangers mob Cruz at the plate. The celebration would be explosive if it wasn’t played before a sweaty crowd of 10,000 spectators, who stand to appaud, though with reservation as they think of the traffic jam the drive home will be as most roads have been changed to facilitate easy access for Cowboy fans.

Oh an mean while, the Cowboys lose 42 – 0 to the Giants before a record low crowd as most in the NY-NJ-CT tri-state area are at home glued to the screen watching the Mets clinch the NL East. (It’s comforting, though still my nightmare)

Let's just hope the Rangers win a Championship long before the Cowboys win thier next one.

If you are one of the five readers this week that mistakenly stumbles on to this site durring a fruitless search for midget porn, Britney Upskirts or video of a guy eating Mentos and drinking Diet Pepsi, feel free to share your views on the stadium situation.

And if you are a Cowboys fan, read this, it's funny...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Day one of the Winter Meetings

By Dan in Texas

MLB Radio is reporting the Rangers have come to terms with Vicente Padilla at 34 million for 3 years. I'm sure this will prevent them for going crazy after Zito


Zito is the Rangers' No. 1 target as they try to satisfy their off-season goal of adding two veteran starting pitchers.

The Rangers are also looking for a center fielder, and sources said Texas has made inquiries about Toronto 's Vernon Wells, who is from Arlington and can be a free agent after next season.

The question is, can they make such a trade without giving up shortstop Michael Young? Toronto wants a shortstop, but Daniels seems opposed to giving up any major pieces of his team in a blockbuster trade.

"I don't anticipate that," Daniels said this week. –From

I think T.R. Sullivan needs his head examined. Why would the Rangers trade Young for a guy with one year left on his contract? They could wait a year and have both players for 2008. Just because Wells is from Arlington doesn’t make the Rangers or Daniels crazy.

Speaking of Zito, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reported earlier today the Rangers have put an offer of 6 years at 102 million dollars. Great start, but I see this number going higher. Now that Padilla is resigned, it's hard to tell if it was only a negotiating tool to get Padilla to the table. We'll see...

Piazza is still out there and the Rangers need a bat to protect Texieria in the order. Big Tex's homerun numbers have fallen, likely due to a shortened swing. Piazza would give Tex more pitches to drive. Stay tuned...

Something big should break tomorrow, there is a buzz that a blockbuster will break sometime on Tuesday.

God, I am ALREADY sick of Manny trade talk in its 4th straight year. Ugh

This just in, MLB radio is reporting the Padres are close to completing a deal with Greg Maddox