The Rangers officially said goodbye to some of their players this week. Free agency has started and we have lost some pieces to our success the last three years. But what the Giants have been able to do is a little different take on what the Rangers have set forth as their business model. Like the Giants, the Rangers are not among the top five teams in payroll. Last season, the Giants spent just under three million less than the Rangers. For the second time in the last three years the Giants took the grizzled veteran route to get them to the Promised Land. Of course putting those guys on the backs of a pitching staff that is better than the Rangers made it somewhat better. But they just took home the big trophy with pitching and defense ahead of timely hitting. The one big piece the Giants were able to acquire, Hunter Pence, flashed some leather, but wasn’t a key to the offense.
So while the Rangers had major offensive struggles down the stretch in 2012, eventually, so did the pitching staff. But the theory was opposite the Giants. We lead with our offense and hope our pitchers can stay in a ballgame into the seventh inning. If Jon Daniels and crew is wanting to make the change that gets us more Giant-like, it would lead you to believe that signing Zack Greinke would be a priority. If they can’t sign him (which we won’t if stupid money starts getting thrown around), it would lead the team to start looking at the trade market. David Price is a name that has been thrown around quite a bit. The cost of a #1 starter, would certainly be some of the Rangers vaunted offense.
In almost any trade (unless you can find a dupe) you have to overpay. So the formula would be a simple one. Who is on the big board with contract time, who has shown an ability to get it done at the plate and in the field? There are no clear answers, but Ian Kinsler is in that ballpark. While he went backwards in 2012, he might be appealing to the Tampa Bay Rays. Let’s face it, with their epic offensive struggles in 2012, Kinsler’s ability to get on base and hit for power could be appealing to the Joe Maddon crew. But Kinsler took a step backwards in the field as well. Certainly Price would cost far more than Kinsler. If not Kinsler, Elvis Andrus is a problem akin to an oncoming train. He has to be the next player in the Scott Boras stable who is going to score a huge contract. There are still two seasons left on his reasonable contract, but he played himself into a no-brainer keeper role for the Rangers this year. A two year lease to anyone but the top three money spenders is what you see with Elvis. Boras is a whole other talk show.
The Giants have at least three pitchers who would be number ones on other teams and another who could be if he fixes whatever was ailing him. With the names being dropped for another numbers one behind Yu Darvish, you have to wonder if Mike Maddux has had discussions on whether he thinks he can’t fix Tim Lincecum.
The bottom line? While they have lost several key pieces to free agency, the overall makeup of the Texas Rangers is probably going to be a lot more Giant like than Ranger like.