So the Nolan Ryan led ownership group is dug-in now. They have been here long enough to leave an impression. Two straight World Series appearances and an epic meltdown crushing the hopes for a third. Those are the results on the field with the ownership group and GM Jon Daniels. Off the field? Something we have never really experienced as Ranger fans. Restraint. No knee-jerks in that front office. I say this because I do not expect that approach to change this off-season.
Wild speculation is rampant already. Big trades and big signings on the wish list of many Ranger fans. You could put me in that group, but I find them all highly unlikely. In fact, I think there is still a chance they may re-sign Josh Hamilton. Why? Unless some team steps up and offers mad money for Hamilton, he will more likely be in the Roy Oswalt boat next season. A player without a team. He hurt his stock that much this year. So the question will become how little will he settle for? Wherever any offers come from remain to be seen. There are rumors the Brewers are interested and have money to spend. But Doug Melvin is a realist. I’m sure the Yankees and Red Sox would love to have him. The Yankees appear to be hesitant to spend a lot of money. Sure they could try to move A-Rod, but that seems very unlikely. The Red Sox simply have too many pieces to put together. So the scenario would be which of the lower offers would be enough to lure Josh away from the comfort of Arlington and the teammates and support crew he had in place in Arlington. Any offer from our front office would be very late in the game. Maybe as late as March.
Making other moves is easy to speculate about, or pull off on your MLB The Show, or OOTP baseball game. But there are factors those games, or your favorite hot stove chatter rarely considers. The biggest being impact on attendance. The Rangers drew more fans to the ballpark than ever before. For us in the blogosphere and newspapers, it’s easy to say Ian Kinsler doesn’t have the numbers to justify him playing the outfield and should be moved. But Kinsler is a community staple now. Does the front office know how many butts he puts in the seats? Maybe. I sure don’t. Same for Elvis. They are front line starters and the poster children of many the ad campaign. Yes, ultimately winning games will also fill the Ballpark. But this was a finely managed marketing strategy that paid dividends too. Some dynamic moves would generate some early season interest, but there isn’t a Prince Fielder on the market this season and Zack Grienke can’t smize.
It should be a lot of fun to watch us re-load. Just don’t pass judgment until they hit the field again in April.