Semblance of Rewards; Entrail of Risks


Imagine that it is the year 2011, or 2012 for that matter, and for all intents and purposes, Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards (yes, he was drafted in 2011, but just hear me out) and Justin Grimm all possess the same trade value as they had directly prior to the Matt Garza trade. Furthermore, in this hypothetical scenario, the Rangers also employ identical rosters in both 2011 and 2012 as they do now.

Jul 23, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Garza (22) on the field before the game against the New York Yankees at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Rangers still make this deal?


I guess the point that I am trying to establish here is that despite an onslaught of grievous baseball trauma, nothing has changed with the decision making and thought processes of the Rangers’ front office. After thinking fairly deeply about the Matt Garza trade, I have come to realize that nothing was indeed uncharacteristic about the Garza trade at all in regards to the operations of the Rangers, as I initially concluded.

(Do not forget that in 2011, Tampa Bay rejected the Rangers’ offer of Derek Holland, Engel Beltre and Frank Francisco for Garza. If the Rays were to have accepted that offer from the Rangers, that means no Derek Holland, who just happens to be leading all Rangers pitchers in fWAR (also third overall in the AL in pitching fWAR). It also means no Mike Napoli, whom was graciously acquired from Toronto for Frank Francisco. Thank you, Tampa Bay.)

While the Rangers more than likely possess one of the shrewdest front offices in all of baseball, the Rangers have also shown a willingness to partake in ventures with relatively high stakes. As a quick example, despite his struggles as a Ranger, both off an on the field, in hindsight with his struggles all throughout 2013, believe me when I say that the Rangers letting Josh Hamilton walk was not an easy decision, nor a safe one at that. Other names come to mind, in both letting players walk, and with trades and free agent signings. The point being that the Rangers have made plenty of high stakes decisions. Some of these decisions have paid off and eventually will do so, while others have or will on the contrary.

Not to throw in a cliche, but big risks obviously imply either big rewards or big failures. The Rangers essentially averted a big failure in 2011 when the Rays decided to accept Chicago’s offer for Garza, rather than Texas’, and the Rangers have now consummated a widely-thought impending failure with their trade for Garza.

No front office is perfect, but some definitely stand above the rest. The Rangers are one of those front offices, and despite possessing what is generally considered one of the shrewdest front offices in the game, the Rangers also possess a front office that is not afraid to gamble.

For those who closely follow the team, the Matt Garza trade seems uncharacteristic of the Rangers, even desperate, but given the chance to redo the deal, I do not think that Texas would change a single thing.