David Rollins, Brady Dragmire, and the Carousel That Never Ends
Off-season waiver claims rarely matter. Sure, there’s a Shawn Tolleson every now and then. But for the most part the guys we’re talking about here are the guys no one really knows and no one really will know.
For instance, last off-season the Rangers claimed only Andy Wilkins. They lost through waivers Lisalverto Bonilla and Wilkins. In the 2014-15 off-season, they claimed Alfredo Figaro, Ed Lucas, Scott Barnes, and Edgar Olmos. They lost Joe Ortiz, Matt West, Gonzalez Germen, and Barnes. Raise your hand if you remember Alfredo Figaro. Go ahead and put it down – you’re a liar. Scott Barnes? Don’t even think about it. The players claimed on off-season waivers are around a 50/50 shot to even be in the organization come Spring Training and maybe one in five will make it to the end of March.
Enter the current off-season waiver claims. These moves are one of the most intriguing sets of transactions unlikely to make any difference whatsoever that I have witnessed. In seven moves, the Texas Rangers front office did just about everything and ultimately did nearly nothing.
Move One: Texas claims David Rollins off waivers from Chicago (NL).
Remember Rollins, he’s gonna play a big role in these moves, if anything about these can be described as “big”. He’s had quite the interesting end to 2016 himself, as we’ll discuss later. For now, all you need to know is that Rollins is a 27-year-old southpaw with 34 big league innings who has surrendered 29 runs, good for a 7.60 ERA.
Move Two: Texas claims Brady Dragmire off waivers from Pittsburgh and subsequently DFA David Rollins. Rollins would be claimed by the Philadelphia.
And here enters the second main character of our story. Dragmire is 23 years old, right-handed, and is yet to pass Double-A. In fact, he posted a 4.38 ERA and had a 41:28 K:BB ratio in 72 innings at that level a year ago. Clearly Dragmire has shown something to pique a scout’s interest, but I can’t tell what from his numbers.
Oh, how exciting a trade! With two former first round picks! Well, Jackson has an 8.50 ERA in 18 big league innings with more walks than strikeouts. He finished last year by being knocked around and struggling with control in Double-A Frisco. Jenkins also walked more than he struck out in his big league debut a year ago (5.88 ERA) and hasn’t exceeded six Ks per nine at any level since 2013. Feigl is 25 and has thrown 6.2 innings over the last two seasons. Not exactly a blockbuster deal.
Move Four: Texas signs Carlos Gomez, subsequently DFA Brady Dragmire. Dragmire would be claimed by Pittsburgh.
It’s only so often you get a second chance at a former 17th round pick struggling in Double-A, and when the Pirates got their opportunity to reclaim what was once theirs, they seized it.
Move Five: Texas claims David Rollins off waivers from Philadelphia, subsequently DFAs Tyrell Jenkins. Jenkins would be claimed by Cincinnati.
Here our protagonist makes his grand return. With trumpets blaring, the Rangers welcomed back their former employee as they sent the biggest piece of their recent trade packing.
Move Six: Texas claims Brady Dragmire off waivers from Pittsburgh, subsequently DFAs David Rollins. Rollins would be claimed by Chicago (NL).
In the second time this exact claim and DFA combination has been made this off-season, our beloved son rides off into the sunset to rejoin the World Series champions. He completes his hero’s journey – a path which placed him with the Mariners, Cubs, Rangers, Phillies, Rangers, and Cubs again since the start of November. Let us all hope and pray Epstein gives Rollins the stability he so sorely needs. Back with the Rangers is the guy with the 1.47 WHIP in Double-A last year.
Move Seven: Texas signs Tyson Ross, subsequently DFAs Brady Dragmire.
Brady Dragmire sullenly returns to the waiver wire, outcast once again. Let’s all hope he didn’t make any down payments on living spaces this offseason.
Seven moves. Two David Rollins waiver claims. Two David Rollins DFAs for Brady Dragmire, who himself would be DFAd twice. A trade mostly made for a player who would leave the org 15 days later. And at the end, the totality of it all is Luke Jackson gone and Brady Feigl in. Long live baseball.