Jon Daniels has been one of the premier general managers for years now. He built this franchise from the ground up and has turned them from a mediocre team in their best years to a perennial contender. Even this season when the Rangers were supposed to be down they have somehow overcome the loss of players like Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli and are in first place.
This season Daniels has worked his magic on the roster once again. Over the offseason the experts thought the Rangers would land Zack Greinke and bring back Josh Hamilton. Daniels certainly tried to haul in those players but eventually both players ended up getting money that was outside of the range JD was willing to pay. This is truly his best trait as a GM. He gauges value better than any GM and he sticks to his evaluations. I am glad the Rangers have avoided overspending on aging free agents.
After losing Hamilton and Grienke and then paying a high cost for Matt Garza, Jon Daniels has caught some serious flak. Some have even attempted to revoke JD’s ninja status. Those making these ridiculous accusations should be ashamed. The Rangers have arguably made the two best acquisitions thus far in the season. At the time of the Garza trade the Rangers were four games behind the Athletics and not playing well. Since the acquisition the Rangers have catapulted into first and have been playing superb ball. Though the price was high the trade looks particularly brilliant now that Matt Harrison has been shut down and Neftali Feliz has faced setbacks. This rotation needs Garza and he has stepped up big eating innings and limiting runs.
There was some talk about the Rangers attempting to land Alex Rios before the deadline but nothing came to fruition. Ken Rosenthal and Even Grant both reported that the waiver deal was unlikely when it was first reported. The news about the Rangers claiming Rios did not even break until talks had been going several days. The trade turned out terrific for Texas. JD dealt from a position of strength, trading one of his many shortstop prospects in Leury Garcia. From what I saw from Garcia he looks like a promising player but Texas does not need any more light hitting middle infielders. Rios has been strong in his first few appearances as a Ranger. He will also be around next year which is a potential solution for the corner outfield next year as Nelson Cruz and David Murphy are both free agents. Daniels landed a solid bat in a market where no other team has acquired a significant bat and did it at a low cost.
Texas has landed the best pitcher and the best hitter this season as well as close a six game gap in the West. If Jon Daniels could look better than he does right now, I would really like to see it. He has the team set for a playoff run, perhaps even a deep run, with a balanced lineup and strong rotation. He dipped into the farm system but it is still one of the strongest systems in the league. With the strong farm system, plenty of cap space from not overspending during the offseason, young players stepping up, and veterans set to come back this team is can contend this year and years to come.
I’m just saying.