Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels and the rest of the Rangers brain trust have done an incredibly good job at keeping secrets. I know that is the M.O. of most of the teams in MLB. They also do as much in the MIS-information game as any other team in the game. They send messages of one need while searching to fill another. The most vociferous of Ranger fans have nary a morsel to peruse in the newspapers and on the web. Last season, they over-paid Joe Nathan early to send a message, not to fans, but to Neftali Feliz, that he would indeed be a starter. We passed on a big payout to Prince Fielder in order to sign Yu Darvish. No one but the Ranger reps knows how serious we were in our talks with Fielder.
This season appears to be more of the same. A shell game on the public front, while working to fortify holes at first base, in our bullpen and most obviously the one left by Josh Hamilton. I have made a reference to this before, that while re-signing Hamilton isn’t out of the question, they will try to re-create him (as was said about Jason Giambi in Moneyball) in the aggregate. What we do know about that is that we tried to deal with Atlanta for a shortstop and spin him to Arizona for Justin Upton. That whole scenario shows us that for at least the next season, we will see Profar and Andrus playing in Arlington. Again, a message behind the scenes to fans but more importantly to Elvis Andrus.
The last two years, outside of the Nathan signing, all of the action has occurred from the Winter Meetings forward. We have been disciplined in not letting the market dictate to us what we do but being deliberate in staying our own course. Not great for fans, but very good for the people holding the cards. And for the success for the team on the field.
Moving parts include getting the final shot at Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli (allegedly) but also trying to eye the strategy of our rivals. Namely the Angels. The Winter Meetings are coming up a week from today in Nashville. Unless something ridiculous happens this week, this will be where the magic happens.
Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves Baseball Elvis Andrus Jason Giambi Joe Nathan Jon Daniels Josh Hamilton Jurickson Profar Justin Upton Los Angeles Angels Mike Napoli Moneyball Neftali Feliz Nolan Ryan Prince Fielder Sports Texas Rangers Winter Meetings Yu Darvish