*I want to preface this post by stating that this is not an actual trade. This trade is from the FanSided Faux-Winter Meetings. I made choices based solely on my gut instincts. No, not really. I looked at the numbers, tried to think long-term, and listened to my gut. I hope it wasn’t just hungry.*
On Monday the 2014 FanSided Faux-Winter Meetings began, and decisions needed to made immediately. Before taking any action towards acquiring starting pitchers, a catcher, and a possible left fielder, I needed to decide who to tender of the four arbitration eligible players. Although it was a difficult decision Mitch Moreland, Alexi Ogando, and Adam Rosales were non-tendered. Only Neftali Feliz was tendered for a 1-yr/$4.1M contract. Which officially makes him the Texas Rangers 2015 closer.
This move also freed up 5 roster spots. With the remaining players all signed at the ML-minimum salary. *Although not officially announced, in the real world Rangers are said to sell Miles Mikolas and Aaron Poreda to Japan, so I removed them from my roster as well*
Our budget for the offseason is minimal, roughly $15M. With that in mind along with a list of spots to fill I negotiated a trade Monday night with our friends at Jays Journal, our Toronto Blue Jays site.
I acknowledge that Profar has great potential, but he has been sidelined the entire season. He is expected to be cleared in January; however, until he is evaluated and training again there is no way to know how healthy he will be. Profar is a natural at shortstop. Elvis Andrus IS our shortstop. That is a fact, and it is not going to change. Rougned Odor proved himself capable of playing in the big leagues, albeit he does still have some growing to do.
Our bullpen is also getting a little crowded. Tolleson did a great job this season, and I wish him all the best with the Blue Jays. But, with our bullpen right now I know our guys will get the job done.
Now, a little information on the newest Texas Rangers.
Dioner Navarro is a switch-hitting catcher entering his age 31 (February) season. In 2014 he drove in 56 runs while batting .267, and stole three bases. Navarro ranked among 2014 American League leaders for Fielding Percentage as Catcher .996% (3rd). He also had 35 assists with only 3 errors. With his experience he can easily split time with Robinson Chirinos behind the plate. He could even bat at DH. Navarro comes to the Rangers with 1-yr/$5M left on his contract that I am more than happy to pay if it means bettering our young starting catcher Chirinos.
I’m extremely excited for the addition of RHP Kendall Graveman (0-0, 3.86). He was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2013. Graveman was called up this season in September as an addition to the expanded roster. He pitched 4.2 innings in 5 games (1GF) giving up four hits, and two runs while striking out four. Don’t let those numbers scare you away from this 23-year old. I believe the Blue Jays misused Graveman’s talent. They brought him up, and played him from the bullpen. He is a natural starter. His MiLB numbers prove this.
2014 MiLB Final Stats for Kendall Graveman (14-6, 1.83): 27 GS, 167.1 IP, 142 H, 40R/34ER, 2 HR, 115 K’s, 1.034 WHIP.
Graveman will begin the season at the back end of the starting rotation.
I felt that dealing Jurickson Profar was a huge deal so I sweetened the pot by asking for the Toronto Blue Jays No.10 Top Prospect, outfielder D.J. Davis. Scouting reports indicate that he has elite speed, and will develop into an above-average defender. If he can become patient at the plate he should become a naturally powerful hitter. Davis is only 20-years old, so he is still needs to fine-tune his skills. He is expected to arrive in the majors in 2017.
I have also made on an offer to Colby Lewis and am expecting to hear back by the end of Wednesday for approval.
So, how do y’all think I did for my first ever faux-winter trade? Let me know in the comments below. I’m also open for any player suggestions (within reason of course.)