Mark Teixeira was traded by Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers to the Atlanta Braves at the July 31st trade deadline in 2007.
Since that date, the Rangers have had two AL pennants and two other postseason appearances, proving that they haven’t really needed a first baseman to reach high levels of success.
That doesn’t mean it can’t hurt to have one, though.
Think about all of the Texas Rangers’ first basemen over the years since that trade. Mitch Moreland, Chris Davis (now with the Orioles), Ryan Rua, Ben Broussard, Derek Dietrich and even potential future Hall of Famer Andruw Jones.
The Texas Rangers are poised to end their first base drought in 2021.
In retrospect, we suppose the Rangers could have kept Chris Davis if they’d known he’d blossom into the player he’d become in Baltimore (though that contract looks hideous now).
Mitch Moreland has won a Gold Glove and has been an All-Star, but for the most part, he’s been nothing more than a role player.
It’s not as if the Rangers have been bad at first base over their franchise history, having employed players like Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro and Pete O’Brien.
Since July 31, 2007, though, it hasn’t been easy to patch that hole.
That’s what makes this year’s impending first base competition between Nate Lowe and Ronald Guzman so fascinating: the Rangers finally have a surplus at the position.
The Texas Rangers will be the biggest winners of this year’s first base competition.
Lowe, acquired in an off-season trade with the Rays, has enormous power and is widely expected to land the job. That power has been flashed at the big league level with Tampa Bay, but with regular playing time, could become more consistent.
As for Guzman, he’s been on the Texas Rangers since 2018, having been renowned for his glove and steadily rising, but still underwhelming bat.
The Condor tore up the Dominican Winter League in 2020-21, however, taking home MVP honors and showing everyone he’s motivated and ready for the challenge of winning back his starting job.
Regardless of whether Lowe or Guzman ultimately wins out, the Texas Rangers are in a “can’t lose” situation with respect to first base.
The winner of the competition will fortify what has seemingly been an unstable position for far too long, and the other can be traded for assets or used as a valuable bench piece late in games or to play matchups.
It’s about time we broke the curse of the Mark Teixeira trade…