Spring Training starts today, and to celebrate I decided to write down and analyze what the Rangers did over the winter break to make themselves better. There were many moves, but I’ll try to keep it short. In chronological order:
- Not Re-Signing C.J. Wilson– I know he’s not the best pitcher in MLB, but he was absolutely the best pitcher the Rangers had. On 90% of MLB teams, C.J. would not be an Ace, but knowing the Rangers made it to consecutive World Series’ with him as the ace (and the fact that Derek Holland isn’t close to an ace either) makes me wish they tried a little harder to re-sign him.
- Signing Yu Darvish– The Rangers paid over $100 million for a guy who has never thrown a pitch to a major league baseball player. I understand his potential, the fact that he has an arsenal of pitches, and the fact that he is much bigger (physically) than other Japanese pitchers makes him really appealing, but doesn’t the fact that all his numbers are based on pitches to guys who can’t make it in MLB? I hope he turns out well, and I really want to trust the Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan, but I’m not sold yet.
- Signing Joe Nathan– With Neftali Feliz moving into the rotation, the Rangers went out and got a proven closer. The only concern I have is his age and injury status.
- Extending Ron Washington– I really like the coaches who tell it like it is. They don’t give in to the media’s stupid questions, just answer point blank. Warsh is not only the best manager in baseball, but also the most entertaining to watch in a press conference.
- Giving multi-year extensions to Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz– Its important to keep the core of the Rangers together, and the Rangers recognize that and offered fair deals to two very key role players.
- One year deal for Mike Napoli– I think Nap got hosed with this deal. I’m sure the Rangers want him to prove more before they offer a longer deal, but if he does have another great year and next year, the Rangers will wish they locked him down.
- No new contract for Josh Hamilton– After his alcohol relapse, which I talked about here, the Rangers wanted him to focus on more important things, family, getting healthy, and having a clear head for Spring Training. I know this seems to be a recurring issue, but I can’t imagine that the Rangers or Josh will let an alcohol relapse affect his contract. I know other teams would be willing to pay big money, so I hope the Rangers are willing to pony up.
All said and done, (Although I’m still really frustrated with the C.J. move and the short contract for Napoli) the Rangers had a good offseason. There are a lot of question marks, but hopefully we will get some answers pretty soon.
Overall Grade: B+
What do you think about the Rangers’ offseason?