A Tale of Two Camps, Redux


It is early in the year of 2013. The MLB season has yet to begin. Anticipation and hope are felt within every fan base and are simultaneously seen upon the faces of players as they assume their duties on their respective Spring Training complexes. All is peaceful — except in Texas. Deep within the lone star state, a silent storm is brewing — a storm fueled by opposing camps.

GM Jon Daniels has just been promoted as president of baseball operations, meanwhile, CEO Nolan Ryan, along with his camp for that matter, are reportedly very dissatisfied with the promotion.

Nolan Ryan assumes a vow of silence and is rumored to be considering leaving the organization entirely.

Owners Bob Simpson and Ray Davis meet with Nolan Ryan in an effort to assure the CEO that his role within the organization has not been diminished. The meeting reportedly goes well, and is deemed ‘positive’.

Time passes and Nolan Ryan agrees to stay aboard as the team’s CEO.

All is good. All is forgotten — until now.

In a column by Jeff Passan, an unexpected tidbit of information entered the scene:

"The biggest fears of the Rangers’ front office that was pressured by ownership to deal for Garza are proving true…"

This is every bit as surprising as it is expected. At the time, the Matt Garza trade seemed particularly uncharacteristic of Jon Daniels. Even after taking into consideration the position that the Rangers were in at the time, with the majority of the starting rotation on the DL, the trade reeked of desperation.

Furthermore, in a separate column from Bob Nightengale, an equally surprising leak reached the surface:

"The Rangers, trying to solve that power void, tried to pull off a blockbuster deal for Atlanta Braves outfielder Justin Upton before the July 31 trade deadline. The Rangers offered starter Matt Garza, All-Star closer Joe Nathan and outfielder David Murphy, but they were rejected, two high-ranking club officials told USA TODAY Sports. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were unauthorized to publicly talk about personnel decisions."

It has been apparent that the Rangers have long coveted Justin Upton, but for whatever reason were unwilling to include Elvis Andrus in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks during the offseason — instead opting to sign Andrus to a lucrative extension.

But now it is more clear than ever that Justin Upton was indeed a Jon Daniels target (no surprise there). Essentially what makes this pair of leaks all the more ominous is that they effectively confirm the notion from Spring Training that there are indeed opposing camps within the upper ranks of the organization of the Texas Rangers.

Matt Garza was a target by ownership and was thusly acquired from the Cubs, but at a hefty price, only to be followed by Jon Daniels’ trade offer to the Braves, which included Garza for a more preferred target of his own in Justin Upton. This is bold stuff from both sides — even more so that these leaks have even reached the media.

This has indeed become a tale of two camps and this is an ugly, ugly fact.

The Texas Rangers still remain as a very strong baseball organization, but the brewing storm within the upper ranks of the club is very alarming.