Preseason Musings


Richard Durrett joined Galloway & Co. and, you know, discussed the usual. Most of the time was spent on the Nelson Cruz ordeal. But afterward, Durrett said he gets the impression Jurickson Profar is “torn” in regards to playing in the World Baseball Classic. Finally, he concludes by sticking to his assumption that Jurickson Profar will start the season at Triple-A Round Rock. That is basically the play-by-play of the interview. Spoiler alert? It’s really not that interesting.

I don’t care much for Richard Durrett, but that shouldn’t conflict with what I’m about to say about him. Basically, Durrett is a solid beat guy for ESPN Dallas, but I rarely agree with him on matters which are baseball related. That said, I did agree with almost everything he had to say in this interview. 

I agree that Jurickson Profar will start the season in AAA. Nelson Cruz … well, what do we really gather there? I think he has a 30% chance of getting suspended for 50 games. The evidence in the Florida PED scandal is sketchy, at best. 

T.R. Sullivan writes of the Rangers and David Murphy joining forces to hammer out a brand new extension, which almost surely would mean they’d shred the one year, $5.775 million deal they just agreed to.

Mistake. If Murphy is signed for another year (because I’m not sure the Rangers would want to give 3 years to a 4th outfielder — Cody Ross, ahem), it only makes sense if they (a) don’t want Nelson Cruz back or (b) if they aren’t confident in any of their Minor League outfield prospects. Come to think of it, we don’t have that many outfield prospects. And after this PED issue, yeah, Nelson Cruz is probably gone. So what am I saying?

“F— it”: two years (2013-’14), $18 million

But let’s be real. Murph very well may never have a season as good as last year. I’m counting on it. If I were the Rangers, I would be logically hesitant to commit anything further than what Murphy already has coming, an extremely cheap and manageable $5.775 million. 

Oh, and the Rangers apparently signed some 17 year-old kid from Australia for $475K. Being the new Collective Bargaining Agreement limits teams from spending north of $2.9 million (which results in a lucrative tax, I believe) per year on international free agents, you have to feel confident that the Rangers are confident in this prospect. (His name is Todd McDonald, if that matters.)

$475,000 divided by $2,900,000 equals a little over 15% (16.4%, to be exact) of the Rangers’ annual international spending budget. That’s about 1/6 of their yearly budget. For what it’s worth, Ben Badler of Baseball America says of McDonald: “[he’s] one of the toolsier players out of Australia.” (Though I don’t really know what that means. Australia isn’t exactly a baseball factory.)

If we’re looking at this signing in isolation, then yeah, the Rangers sacrificed a decent portion of their signing budget on McDonald. But if we’re analyzing this on a macro scale, the Rangers appear to be cornering the market on toolshed outfielders. Over the last few years, they’ve internationally signed Nomar Mazara, Ronald Guzman and Jairo Beras, along with Lewis Brinson and Nick Williams via the amateur Rule-4 draft. Not sure if this has anything to do with the emergence of players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Jason Heyward, but it appears to be an effective practice moving forward, given the overall contributions of those athletes.