Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Rangers at the Half Way Point and Going Forward

After 82 games, the Rangers are 41-41, a .500 team. A wise man once said you are what you are, and the Rangers are a .500 team with a really good (and could be great) offense and a mediocre to bad pitching staff. Sounds like the last nine years or so. But while the Rangers are what they are, they aren't what they were. Which is a mediocre team without much real hope for the future. I've said a couple of times before that the Rangers actually have a bright future. And it's not just Rangers fan and apologists who think so. I could list the names, but if you follow the Ranger's minor leagues you know who the are and if you don't, then I could just list any names and it wouldn't make a difference, but that sweet swing you see to your left belongs to Chris Davis, who was in the process of hitting his 2nd home run of the Red Hawks/ Nashville Sounds game a went too last week. The Rangers have some real talent on the way and some of it is really close.

So while they will probably spend the rest of this year around the .500 mark, they are looking better and better. So this begs the question on every Ranger fan's mind. Do the Rangers buy or sell? Is there enough here to try to make a run for it? Or do we trade everyone over the age of 26? On one hand, you never know when you're going to have a chance to make a run for the playoffs and for a fan base who is discontent to say the least, why would they really throw it all to wind and try to get CC Sabathia or Roy Oswalt and relief pitcher or two? On the other hand, how close are they really? They're 7 1/2 games back, and while they're by no means out of the race, they don't appear to be a team that's going to run off a big winning streak or even a 9 of 10 or anything like that. While a pick up of Sabathia would definitely help, I'm not sure it would enough and is it worth trading away the best of their farm system? Back in the 80s, the Rangers had a good team, but were several games behind the leading team. But they had a frustrated fan base and decided to go for it and trade Wilson Alvarez and Sammy Sosa for Harold Baines. No one wants that again. The Rangers have some tradable commodities: Kevin Millwood, Vincente Padilla, Milton Bradley, etc.

For a while this year I was an advocate of the first thought. But I'm not real big on trading everyone. I would rather the Rangers do what I call strategic trading with an eye not on 2008, but 2009 and further. They need to be ready to trade Millwood or Padilla (I don't think I'm big on trading both. That would leave them with an all- inexperienced rotation. Millwood and Padilla haven't been great, but even on days when they suck, like Thursday for Millwood, he at least pitched 5 innings. Not great, but he saved the bullpen.), but there's no reason to give them away. Don't trade for a pending free agent, like Sabathia. Trade for guys who are going to be here and help the next two years. At this point, my fear of the Rangers getting fleeced out of their young guys on a misguided attempt to hang around for a pennant when they are clearly the third best team in the division, a la John Danks for Brandon McCarthy or Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez for Adam Eaton. I don't mind trading young guys, but I want something that helps soon. The Volquez- Hamilton deal was a tough deal, but both teams can be happy about that trade. Don't screw up like they did with the Harold Baines deal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well look who the owner was when they traded Sosa.