Better things are coming

With the Mike Napoli signing with the Red Sox, the trade of Michael Young, Zack Greinke signing with the Dodgers and James Shields being traded to Kansas City, some members of Ranger Nation have become a little panicked.

My Facebook newsfeed and Twitter have blown up with the news of the offseason signings and the majority of those posts are coming from disgruntled Rangers fans.

Have no fear Texas followers, our time will come. Just be patient. After all, there are still over 110 days until opening day.

The Rangers missed out on Napoli and relief pitcher Koji Uehara — two players that a lot of people thought the team should resign — but many would argue that Boston overpaid for Napoli, who signed a 3-year $39 million contract a week ago today. As far as Uehara goes, it seems like he just capitalized on a lucrative deal once it popped up, as he signed for one year, $4.25 million with the Sox on Thursday.

Young’s trade to the Phillies rubbed a lot of Rangers fans the wrong way, but the fact of the matter is that he was one of the worst starters in the Majors last season and would have seen far less playing time in 2013 in Texas.

Young, who was coming off one of his best seasons in 2011, posted a line of .277/.312/.370 and had career lows in HR, SB and SLG in 2012. He had a WAR of -1.4 (yeah, with a minus in front of it) — the second lowest in the MLB behind only Jeff Francoeur –, had the worst wRC+ of his career since 2002 and posted a season low .297 wOBA.

All that being said, though I knew it was for the best for all three parties involved, it made me sad to see Young go. It will be hard to imagine him playing in another uniform and I think everyone in Texas wishes him the best.

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Greinke signing with the Dodgers only gained so much negative criticism because it happened less than 12 hours after the Young trade. Rangers fans were already upset, and now, all of the sudden, the top-free agent pitcher was off the market too?

Flat out, despite the rumors during the winter meetings, it became obvious that Greinke just preferred to pitch in LA — in a more pitcher-friendly park, not in 100+ degree heat all summer, where he would be making more money. Can’t fault him for that.

Then, we all heard that the team still had plan B – “Big Game” James Shields. Well, there went that, and fans became even more frustrated. Sunday night, Kansas City exchanged top prospect Wil Myers and three other prospects for Shields, Wade Davis and a player to be named later.

So what is plan C? The Rangers are knowingly pursuing knuckleballing 2012 Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey via trade and could be looking at free agent pitchers Kyle Lohse or Anibal Sanchez. Could they be looking at David Price as well? It’s doubtful that the Rays will trade him after dumping Shields and Davis, but you never know.

All of this comes at the same time the team is looking to re-sign Josh Hamilton and/or trade for Justin Upton.

Fans have become impatient because re-signing Geovany Soto, Joakim Soria and acquiring a couple bullpen bolsters have not lived up to the offseason expectations set by the media.

No doubt, the tension is building and we should see something come to fruition soon.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers GM Jon Daniels is widely-regarded as one of the most intelligent execs in baseball, so, instead of thinking that you’ll be cheering for the STRangers next season (I heard that one on Facebook), stay optimistic and hope that JD has ‘em right where he wants ‘em.

This Passion Pit song will set the tone for the rest of the week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFmNIb9NSII

Topics: Hot Stove, James Shields, Jon Daniels, Josh Hamilton, Justin Upton, Koji Uehara, Michael Young, Mike Napoli, R.A. Dickey, Rangers, Texas Rangers, Zack Greinke

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  • Eric Reining

    Good stuff.