Evaluating The Jon Daniels Trade Deadline Deals

It happens around this time every year. The Hot Stove is fired up, rumors are swirling and fans are sitting on edge hoping their team makes the right move. Here in D/FW, fans are waiting until they can criticize the underrated Jon Daniels because that’s what they do.

It’s the trade deadline.

Is your a team a buyer or seller? Are they standing pat? Are they buyers AND sellers? How do you think the Rangers have done at the trade deadline since Jon Daniels has taken over as GM? Good? Bad? Atrocious?

We’re going to take a look at the deadline deals that JD has made during his tenure as General Manager of your Texas Rangers. Keep in mind that these are only deals that were made between July 1st and July 31st, a time in which I would consider to be “trade deadline season” because, well, we have to have parameters. We are going to start in 2006 and move towards the present. This will allow us to see more of the career and/or value of the players involved in each trade.



Rangers trade IF Tim Olson to the Toronto Blue Jays for P Joey McLaughlin



This trade wasn’t much of anything and really wasn’t even a “deadline deal” but it is within our criteria for this article so here it is, in the flesh, documented. Olson had a really small stint in the big leagues in 2004 and a a three game sample in 2005, neither of which was with the Rangers. Neither player made it to the big leagues after this trade and as a matter of fact, McLaughlin was out of baseball by the end of the season.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Olson (0.0) 0.0, McLaughlin (0.0) 0.0

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/0.0

Cleveland total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/0.0

Results: Meh. Both teams get an A for effort right?


Rangers send P Julian Cordero, P Francisco Cordero, OF Kevin Mench, and OF/IF Laynce Nix to the Milwaukee Brewers for OF Nelson Cruz and OF Carlos Lee



At the time, the biggest return on this trade was Carlos Lee. Texas needed a right handed corner OF bat to make a run at the division and chase down the rival Angels and A’s. The Rangers would finish 11.5 games back that year and Carlos Lee would bolt to Houston.

It was no secret that Lee didn’t really care of Texas apparently. Though he did hit well here slashing .322/.369/.525 with nine home runs and 35 RBI in 59 games. He went on to have some really good years in Houston averaging about 25 home runs and just shy of 100 RBI during his five and a half seasons there.

Nelson Cruz needs no introduction. He was a late bloomer for the Rangers, not making his presence known until 2009 when he hit 33 bombs in 128 games and made the All-Star team. Cruz would then go on to set the world on fire in the 2011 postseason with dramatic walk off grand-slams and extra inning game winning home runs on the road in Detroit leading the Rangers to back to back AL Championships. This was the original stepping stone to what would be the core of the Rangers World Series’ teams.

CoCo Cordero, as he was known as in Texas, was a pretty damn good closer for a couple of years before the trade posting 49 and 37 saves respectively. He struggled a bit in 2006 posting an ERA near 5.00 and have just six saves which made him expendable in the eyes of Jon Daniels. Cordero would recover though and go on to have 44,34,39,40, and 37 saves between Milwaukee and Cincinnati with routinely posting ERA’s in the very good range.

The Rangers sold high on Kevin Mench, who was a fan favorite and had the nickname “Shrek” because of his big ass head, had posted back to back 25+ home run seasons in 2004 and 2005 and was having a really good start to 2006 hitting .284 (a career best Min 150 ABs) with 12 home runs and 50 RBI. He only hit eight home runs in 2007 in just over 300 ABs in Milwaukee and never hit the double digit plateau again. He retired after the 2010 season playing in just 27 games at the age of 32.

Laynce Nix was a journeymen who never made it in Milwaukee. He had a couple of decent seasons in Cincinnati after signing with them as a free agent following the 2008 season. Nix retired after 2013 season. Julian Cordero never made it to the big leagues and was out of baseball at the end of the season after the trade.

WAR with (old team) and new team: J. Cordero (0.0) 0.0, F. Cordero (9.7) 3.1, Mench (5.7) 0.1, Nix (0.8) -0.6, Cruz (0.0) 11.8, Lee (3.1) 0.9

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (16.2)/12.7

Brewers total WAR (traded) and received: (3.1)/2.6

Results: Despite the “negative” value in WAR, the Rangers won this trade. Mench and Nix never amounted to anything for Milwaukee and the only thing the Brewers got out of the deal in reality was CoCo Cordero. That is plenty for me in exchange for Nelson Cruz. Cruz alone was worth the entire trade with his incredible postseason history. Cruz hit 14 home runs with 27 RBI in 2010-2012 postseasons including winning the 2011 ALCS MVP.


Rangers send P Bryan Corey to the Boston Red Sox for P Luis Mendoza



The Rangers were still trying to stock the farm and get rid of aging veterans despite still being just three games back of the division. Jon Daniels wanted a focus on the kids and rebuilding the farm system was the first step.

Bryan Corey was a 32 year old rookie who was having a decent season out of the bullpen. Boston was just a .5 game up in the Yankees and needed some bullpen help so Texas gladly obliged. Corey, who had a 2.60 ERA over 16 games with Texas, went to Boston and posted an ERA over 4.50 in the same time frame. He just didn’t miss enough bats to be playing in the AL East, or in the American League for that matter. He played just nine games for Boston in 2007 and spent 2009-2012 between the minor leagues and independent leagues.

Luis Mendoza was a young arm, 22 at the time, which is exactly what Texas wanted. He made a nice splash after a callup in 2007 posting a 2.25 ERA over six games but his 4.30 FIP and his horrible 3.9 K/9 suggested that trouble was on the horizon. It was. He posted a 8.67 ERA in 2008 for Texas and that was about the extent of his time in Texas. He spent a few seasons in Kansas City but his luck didn’t change. His best season came in 2012 as a starter for KC with an 8-10 record and a 4.23 ERA.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Corey (0.4) 0.3, Mendoza (0.0) -2.2

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.4)/-2.2

Red Sox total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/0.3

Results: Hard to declare anyone a winner in this trade. Corey didn’t contribute much to the Sox and Mendoza didn’t develop like the Rangers had hoped. They did accomplish their goal by getting young promising arms. Sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re both.


Ranger send P Jesse Chavez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for P Kip Wells



This is one of the more perplexing trades that I can remember Jon Daniels making. The goal was to build the farm and stockpile young arms. Trading away a 22 year old pitcher for a 29-year-old pitcher who, frankly, was not any good, was the opposite of the goal.

Kip Wells was terrible. There is no way around that. He was terrible in Pittsburgh even in 2002-2003 when his ERA suggested he was a decent pitcher, his FIP told another story. Wells never posted a FIP under 4.17 in Pittsburgh. Wells made just two starts in Texas before injuring his foot against the Mariners. He never wore a Texas uniform again.

It wasn’t until 2008 that Chavez broke into the big leagues with Pittsburgh but didn’t have a lot of success there. He bounced around the league for a while before finally landing in Oakland in 2012. He has been a valubale piece, first out of their bullpen and currently in their rotation.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Wells (8.8) -0.1, Chavez (0.0) -0.2

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/-0.1

Pirates total WAR (traded) and received: (8.8)/-0.2

Results: No idea why this trade was made. It clearly didn’t work out, for either team as Chavez was later shipped off to Tampa Bay. Rangers lose this trade and unless there was some hidden reason to get rid of Chavez, I still don’t understand this trade.


Rangers send P Jose Diaz to the Kansas City Royals for OF/1B Matt Stairs



The Rangers were going to make one last push and wanted to add a little more pop to their lineup because that was the way Rudy Jaramillo and Tom Hicks liked it. Stairs was brought in to replace the struggling 35-year-old Phil Nevin.

Stairs didn’t really improve much over Nevin and in fact was just as bad. After hitting .261 with eight home runs in 77 games with the Royals, Stairs hit just .210 with three bombs in 25 games for the Rangers as they finished 80-82 – 3rd in the AL West.

Diaz was a 26-year-old who had spent his entire career in the minor leagues. He appeared for KC in 2006 and wasn’t very good at all. He allowed eight runs on 10 hits with eight walks in just 6.2 innings and that was all she wrote for Diaz. He did make a one game appearance for Texas in 2008 but that was it.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Diaz (0.0) -0.2, Stairs (2.1) -0.2

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/-0.2

Royals total WAR (traded) and received: (2.1)/-0.2

Results: Just a trade that didn’t work out for either team. Texas saw a need for a DH to replace Nevin and it didn’t work out. Diaz didn’t work out for Kansas City and both teams went on their way. I’d say it was a lose for both teams.




Rangers trade center-fielder Kenny Lofton to the Cleveland Indians for catcher Max Ramirez.


This trade had minimal impact on the franchise. Ramirez made his debut in 2008 and played in 17 games. He appeared in 28 more games in 2010 before being placed on waivers in 2011. During his brief Rangers tenure he slashed .217/.345/.370/.715 with two home runs and nine RBI. Ramirez is known to many Rangers fans for this incredible crash play at the plate

This was about the extent of the Ramirez’ big league time. He currently resides in the Mexican League. His last Major League affiliation was with Cincinnati’s AAA team Louisville in 2013.

Kenny Lofton on the other hand was a nice piece for the Cleveland Indians. He helped them win the AL Central and advance to the ALCS before falling in seven games to the eventual World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Lofton was in his final season, at age 40 and retired after the season ended.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Kenny Lofton (1.9) 0.7, Max Ramirez (0.0) 0.3

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (1.9)/0.3

Cleveland total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/0.7

Result: Neutral. The trade was more to give Lofton a chance to win in his final season. Lofton wasn’t going to return to the Rangers at season’s end anyway, so anything you got for him was nothing more than a bonus. The Rangers took a shot on a catcher and it didn’t pan out but they didn’t lose anything either.


Rangers trade relief pitcher Eric Gagne to the Red Sox for pitcher Kason Gabbard, outfielder Engel Beltre, and outfielder David Murphy.


Kason Gabbard was a disaster for Texas posting FIP’s of over 5.25 in both 2007 and 2008. He appeared in just 20 games over those two seasons and then spent the next two seasons in the minor leagues with Boston and Texas.

Engel Beltre was supposed to be one of the next big Rangers prospects. It just never worked out in Texas for Beltre. He had a brief cup of coffee in 2013 slashing .250/.268/.275/.543 with a pair of RBI over 40 games. He was released in 2014 and is currently in the San Francisco Giants minor league system.

David Murphy was the biggest piece in this deal. He made a splash immediately slashing .340/.382/.534/.916 with a pair of home runs and 14 RBI. Murphy spent most of his time as the fourth outfielder. He was quickly a fan favorite but was a virtual no show in the 2010 postseason. He had a tremendous 2011 ALCS slashing .412/.500/.647/1.147 that was completely overshadowed by Nelson Cruz’s MVP video game type campaign. Murphy put up a 3.7 WAR in 2012 but other than that was nothing more than a nice bench player. Murphy signed with the Indians during this past offseason.

Eric Gagne, who won the 2003 Cy Young Award as a closer, was an absolute train wreck in Boston. Splitting time between the eighth and ninth innings, Gagne posted a 6.75 ERA in 20 appearances despite a FIP of just 3.03. He spent the next year with Milwaukee but was just as bad there and hasn’t been heard from since.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Gagne (1.5) -0.2, Gabbard (1.7) 0.2, Beltre (0.0) 0.0, Murphy (-0.1) 11.1

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (1.5)/11.3

Red Sox total WAR (traded) and received: (1.6)/-0.2

Result: Win for Texas. The Rangers gave up a former Cy Young closer who was coming off a major injury and in his mid 30’s. David Murphy and his contributions to the Rangers during their playoff runs in 2010-2012 was enough to win the trade considering who they traded away.


Rangers trade relief pitcher Ron Mahay and 1B Mark Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves for SS Elvis Andrus, P Matt Harrison, P Neftali Feliz, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and P Beau Jones.


The trade that put Jon Daniels on the map. One of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent memory. This is a trade that I don’t have to break down for you because you already know about it. Feliz, Harrison, and Andrus all helped Texas win their first, and second, American League Pennant in 2010 and 2011. Feliz was rookie of the year in 2010 with 40 saves and a 9.2 K/9.

Matt Harrison was the Rangers Opening Day Starter in 2013 after posting an 18-11 record and a 3.29 ERA in 2012 leading Texas to the first ever American League Wild Card Game. Harrison was left off the 2010 postseason roster but started four games in the 2011 postseason. He didn’t fare to well posting a 1-2 record with a 4.77 ERA including two losses in the World Series to the Cardinals.

Elvis Andrus was at one time regarded as one of the best young shortstops in the league. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2009 and started his career with four straight 30 steal seasons. Andrus was awarded for his play with an eight year $118 million extension that started this season. Andrus has fallen off in recent years with questions arising about his motivation. One of Andrus’ biggest moments came in Game 2 of the 2011 World Series with his incredible defense

Andrus also scored the winning run in Game 2 on a sacrifice fly from Michael Young after lining a single to center-field and advancing to second on an Albert Pujols error on the relay throw. Speculations is rampant these days about Andrus and how much time he has left with Texas.

Neftali Feliz, who I mentioned above, was 2010 AL Rookie of the Year. Feliz was dominant with is 100 mph fastball and being lights out in the closer’s role. Feliz, despite his incredible rookie season and dominant 2011, is best known for his blown save in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. No one really knows for sure what happened but there are rumors that Feliz was too emotional to go back out for the 10th inning. Some say he told Ron Washington that he couldn’t do it and others say simply that Wash decided to just go with another arm. I don’t think we will ever know the real reason.

Feliz would become a starter the following season but would only last seven starts before blowing out his elbow and having Tommy John Surgery. He hasn’t been the same since then as his velocity just hasn’t returned to what it was prior to the surgery. Feliz was placed on waivers a few weeks ago and was claimed by Detroit. We’ll always have the memories.


Jarrod Saltalamacchia was nothing more than a backup catcher for Texas from 2007-2010. Salty, as he is often referred to as, was diagnosed with throacic outlet syndrome in 2010 and never made it back to Texas. He was traded to Boston in 2010 (see below) but not before he kicked off the season with a walk-off double on Opening Day.

Salty is currently with the Arizona Diamondbacks after being claimed off waivers from the Miami Marlins earlier this season.

Beau Jones was nothing more than a throw in piece to the deal and never sniffed the big leagues.

As for Mark Teixeira, he spent the rest of 2007 and the first part of 2008 in Atlanta before being traded to Anaheim at the deadline. We all know that he currently resides in New York and is having a career reviving season as the Rangers continue to search for their permanent first basemen. Just remember the overall picture and what the team got for him and it makes it worthwhile.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Mahay (4.3) 0.8, Teixeira (21.5) 6.0, Saltalamacchia (0.4) 0.5, Feliz (0.0) 8.4, Harrison (0.0) 9.4, Andrus (0.0) 18.7, Jones (0.0) 0.0

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (25.8)/37.0

Braves total WAR (traded) and received: (0.4)/6.8

Result: Win. No question. This trade changed the franchise and let the world know who Jon Daniels was. Despite the contracts that Andrus and Harrison have now and the fact that Salty, Feliz and Jones are no longer with the team, the deal was a clear win for Texas. It laid the ground work for the franchise to win back to back American League Pennants.


No trades were made at the deadline in 2008. I would like to point out however, that the Rangers did sign Odubel Herrera as an amateur free agent. Doobie was claimed this past winter in the Rule 5 draft by the Phillies and is currently their starting center-fielder.


No trades. I will, once again, point out that Luis Sardinas and Jurickson Profar were both signed as amateur free agents. Sadinas was part of a package that was sent to Milwaukee for Yovani Gallardo and Profar has been riddled with a shoulder injury and missed the last two seasons but is still expected to be a part of the Rangers plans moving forward. He was, at one point, the #1 prospect in baseball.



Rangers trade pitcher Michael Main to San Francisco for catcher Bengie Molina.


This is the trade that kicked off a flurry of moves by Daniels and the Rangers. The Rangers needed a veteran catcher after Salty didn’t pan out.

Molina didn’t do much with the bat, but he wasn’t expected to. He was brought in to handle the pitching staff along with Matt Treanor. Molina helped lead Texas to their fourth AL West Championship and their first ever AL Pennant. The team that traded him, the Giants, eventually beat the Rangers in the World Series and Molina received an AL and NL Championship ring as well as a World Series ring from San Francisco. We will forever remember Molina for his jump into Feliz’s arms (pictured above) and for that one time when pigs flew in Boston:

Michael Main never saw the big leagues and actually made just five starts above High A ball.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Main (0.0) 0.0, Molina (2.5) -0.8

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/-0.8

Giants total WAR (traded) and received: (2.5)/0.0

Results: In terms of sheer value, it was a loss because of the negative value Molina provided. However, despite not winning the ultimate prize, the trade helped send the Rangers to the World Series for the first time in franchise history and they gave up nothing to do it. I’m starting to see a pattern here. I would say this trade was a win for JD and company.


Rangers trade Matt Lawson, Josh Lueke, Blake Beavan and Justin Smoak to Seattle for Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe.


This could be debated as the biggest trades in franchise history. It was the first time since Nolan Ryan that the Rangers had a true bona-fide ace of the pitching staff. This trade was especially fun for Rangers fans because the Yankees were sure that they had traded for Lee at the deadline and were left out in the cold.

Cliff Lee needs no introduction. After performing sub-par, to put it lightly, in the final months of the regular season, Lee was absolutely filthy in the 2010 postseason. Lee posted a 2-0 record with a 1.13 ERA in the ALDS against the Rays, both starts coming on the road including the decisive Game 5. He struck out 21 over 16 innings of work. But his biggest win, was Game 3 in New York. With the series tied at one game a piece, Lee tossed a masterpiece – striking out 13 Yankees, allowing just two hits and one walk. The Rangers would have the daunting Yankee Stadium emptied out by the 8th inning and would go on the win the game by an 8-0 score. The Rangers would go on to win the ALCS in six games.

Cliff Lee started Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco that year and, well, it didn’t go so well. After being staked a 2-0 lead, Lee wouldn’t get out of the 5th as he allowed seven runs on eight hits. Lee would pitch much better in Game 5 going eight innings allowing just one earned up but a Rangers error allowed two unearned runs to score and the Texas offense was silent. Lee was credited with the loss and later bolted for Philadelphia in the off-season.

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 27:  Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers reacts after hitting a double in the second against the San Francisco Giants in Game One of the 2010 MLB World Series at AT&T Park on October 27, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Cliff Lee

SAN FRANCISCO – OCTOBER 27: Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers reacts after hitting a double in the second against the San Francisco Giants in Game One of the 2010 MLB World Series at AT&T Park on October 27, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Cliff Lee

Mark Lowe was, well, not very good in Texas. It doesn’t matter how he did in the regular season, the only thing people will remember was the David Freese home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. ‘Nough said.

Matt Lawson never made the big leagues (there’s that pattern I was talking about), Josh Lueke is a rapist, and Justin Smoak never panned out for Seattle. Smoak’s bat just couldn’t handle the friendly confines of Safeco Field despite having a 20 home run campaign in 2013. Smoak was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays this season and is currently enjoying somewhat of a renewed career.

Blake Beaven was probably the best piece the Mariners got in return for Lee, though even he wasn’t that good for them. In his four years in Seattle, he posted a career 4.61 ERA (4.80 FIP). He was granted free agency at the end of 2014 and was recently released by the Diamondbacks and is currently out of baseball.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Lawson (0.0) 0.0, Lueke (0.0) -0.3, Beavan (0.0) 1.5, Smoak (-0.3) 0.5, Lee (3.4) 1.4, Lowe (-0.1) 0.4

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (-0.3)/1.8

Seattle total WAR (traded) and received: (3.3)/1.7

Results: Win. Cliff Lee took the Rangers to new heights and had, by far, the best postseason of any Rangers pitcher in history. Despite Lowe and Game 6, this trade is still a win, and there really is no question about it. One of, if not the best, Jon Daniels trade deadline deals. Seattle currently has none of the players they traded for in their system.


Rangers trade Omar Poveda and Evan Reed to the Florida Marlins for Jorge Cantu.


Cantu was acquired as depth and a bench bat who could play some first base. He did next to nothing. Cantu had a home run and two RBI in his 30 games with Texas. One of those RBI was a go ahead single in the 6th inning in the AL West clinching game against Oakland and the other was the game winning home run in the same game. Other than that, he was a complete disappointment.

Omar Poveda never made the big leagues (there is that pattern again) and Evan Reed was a simple middle of the bullpen piece who sported an ERA over 4.20 with Detroit in 2013 and 2014. He was waived by the Marlins and picked up by the Tigers, so just like Seattle, Miami got nothing out of this trade. But neither did the Rangers.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Poveda (0.0) 0.0, Reed (0.0) 0.0, Cantu 1.1 -0.6

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/-0.6

Marlins total WAR (traded) and received: (1.1)/0.0

Results: Neutral. Neither team won this trade and neither team really lost this trade. The only reason I wouldn’t say that the Rangers lost this trade is because neither Reed or Poveda made the roster in Miami and neither of them amounted to much, if anything at all.


Rangers send P Ryan Tatusko and P Tanner Roark to Washington for SS Cristian Guzman


This was another one of the small trades that Daniels made during the 2010 campaign in an attempt to solidify their middle infield depth. It was nothing more than that either. A pure depth move. Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus were the staples in the middle infield and they weren’t being uprooted anytime soon. Unfortunately for the Rangers, Guzman was a complete bust.

Guzman hit just .152 over 15 games after hitting .285 in his first 89 games with Washington and was left off the Rangers postseason roster.

Tanner Roark on the other hand, despite his rough start to 2015, has been stellar for the Nationals. Breaking the big leagues in 2013, Roark has posted a 26-15 record with a very respectable 3.07 ERA. Roark went 15-10 with a 2.85 ERA last season and helped Washington to the postseason. He appeared out of the bullpen for the Nats in the playoffs and went 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Tatusko never made it to The Show.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Tatusko (0.0) 0.0, Roark (0.0) 6.8 Guzman (5.7) -0.7

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0) -0.7

Nationals total WAR (traded) and received: (5.7) 6.8

Results: A first time defeat for the previously immortal Jon Daniels. Guzman was a failure in Texas and Roark because a very good back of the rotation starter for Washington. Can’t win them all, I guess.


Rangers send C Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Boston for P Roman Mendez, 1B Chris McGuiness and a player to be named later. Boston later sent C Michael Thomas to Texas to complete the deal.


Salty, as we detailed above, was troubled with being able to throw the ball back to the pitcher. The Rangers saw an offer to get something in return to Salty, so they took it. The return wasn’t incredibly great but considering Salty couldn’t throw a baseball 60 feet to a man standing well over 6′-0″, I imagine the return was more than expected.

Michael Thomas never saw the big leagues and Chris McGuiness had just a small 10 game taste in 2013 and didn’t do much of anything.

Roman Mendez on the other hand has spent parts of the 2014 and 2015 in the Rangers bullpen. Despite posting a 2.18 ERA last year in 30 games, his FIP was 4.31 and the knock on him was that he didn’t have swing and miss stuff – something you need to survive in the bullpen. 2015 has been much of the same for Mendez.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Saltalamacchia (0.5) 5.4, Thomas (0.0) 0.0, McGuiness (0.0) -0.5, Mendez (0.0) 1.0

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.5)/0.5

Red Sox total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/5.4

Results: This would make back to back losses for Jon Daniels. Salty fixed his throwing issues and help the Red Sox win the 2013 World Series. While this wasn’t a big time trade that was supposed to help the Rangers win as it was more so to help the future, it just hasn’t panned out. I give this one to the Red Sox.



Rangers send 1B Chris Davis and P Tommy Hunter to Baltimore for P Koji Uehara


Wow. Where do we start with this trade? This trade, at the time seemed like a no brainer win for JD and the Rangers. Uehara was one of the better relievers in the game and Chris Davis appeared to be nothing more than the dreaded AAAA type player.

Koji Uehara came to Texas with great enthusiasm and a love for the like only he could have. That didn’t stop him from dropping bombs out of the bullpen though. His 2.5 HR/9 allowed in 2011 are a career worst and just about double his worst in any other season. He was so bad in the 2011 postseason, that he was left off the World Series roster altogether. The Rangers let him walk as a free agent at the end of the 2012 season.

Chris Davis, the hometown kid, never seemed to figure it out in Texas. After a rookie campaign that saw him hit .285 with 17 HR and 55 RBI in just 80 games, he never lived up the hype after that. He averaged over a strikeout a game and never hit above .250 the rest of the way in Texas. He put it together in Baltimore, in a big way. Hitting 33 bombs and 85 RBI in 2012, he exploded for a league leading 53 home runs and a league leading 138 RBI in 2013. In four full seasons in Baltimore, Davis has averaged 33 home runs and 89 RBI.

Tommy Hunter’s value was never higher after 2010 in which he went 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA as a starter for the Rangers. After having a really poor postseason in which he took losses in both the ALDS and the World Series, he failed to crack the rotation in 2011 but shined in his brief time in the bullpen. He posted a 2.93 ERA over 15.1 innings before being moved to Baltimore. The Orioles tried him as a starter for the rest of 2011 and most of 2012 before realizing that his niche was a bullpen arm. He has striving as a later innings bullpen piece ever since.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Hunter (3.6) 2.7, Davis (-0.5) 11.7, Uehara (4.6) 1.7

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (3.1)/1.7

Orioles total WAR (traded) and received: (4.6)/14.4

Results: The Jon Daniels trade losing streak hits three in a row and this one hurts. Uehara was never the same pitcher in Arlington as he was in Baltimore and as he is now in Boston. Davis and Hunter have helped make the Orioles relevant again despite Davis never panning out for Texas. He never was going to perform in Texas like he has in Baltimore, that’s just the cold hard facts. It was a trade that JD had to make and it was one that just didn’t work out in his favor. #NoRagrets


Rangers send P Robbie Erlin and P Joe Wieland to San Diego Padres for P Mike Adams


The Rangers were looking for late inning bullpen help to replace the struggling, homer happy Koji Uehara. Mike Adams was one of the best in the business in San Diego. Some said that his numbers were a bit skewed by the pitchers park known as Petco.

Adams was averaging 9.2 K/9 with a 1.13 ERA in 48 innings. He lived up to the hype with Texas posting a 2.10 ERA (3.18 FIP) and 8.8 K/9. Adams wasn’t as good in the postseason as he was in the regular season appearing in three games and posting a 3.24 ERA with 11.9 H/9 and just 6.5 K/9.

Robbie Erlin made his Padres debut in 2013 and has been sub-par by Petco Park’s standards but hasn’t been helped by his defense. His 4.58 ERA isnt indicative of how decent he has actually been as his 3.76 FIP would suggest. However, Erlin hasn’t pitched for in the big leagues this season and his 9.6 H/9 and 6.7 K/9 suggest he may not be back anytime soon.

Joe Wieland appears in five games for San Diego in 2012 before tearing his UCL and missing the rest of 2012 and all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John Surgery. He hasn’t amounted to much in the big leagues posting a 5.29 FIP and a 1.436 WHIP during his short time in San Diego. He’s currently employed by the Dodgers and doesnt appear to be in a position to help them anytime soon.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Erlin (0.0) -0.2, Wieland (0.0) -0.5, Adams (6.3) 2.1

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/2.1

Padres total WAR (traded) and received: (6.3)/-0.7

Results: This win ends the Daniels losing streak at three trades. Adams played an important, mainly 8th inning role, for Texas down the stretch and in the postseason. Wieland and Erlin never amounted to much in San Diego although Wieland was packaged and traded to the Dodgers for a package highlighted by Matt Kemp.



Rangers send 3B Christian Villanueva and P Kyle Hendricks to the Chicago Cubs for P Ryan Dempster.


This trade was viewed as a loss by most Rangers fans because of how poorly Dempster pitched during his short stint in Texas. Texas had a historic collapse in 2012 blowing a three game lead in the division with four to play.

Dempster was on the mound the last game of the regular season when Oakland beat the Rangers 12-5 to win the division. Dempster lasted just three innings giving up five runs on six hits.

Kyle Hendricks made his Cubs debut two years after the trade in 2014 and had a really good rookie season. He went 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA (3.38 FIP). He’s been just as good, if not better in 2015. He’s lowered his FIP to 3.23 and upped his K/9 by nearly 2.5 per nine innings. His 3.23 FIP is better than King Felix and Matt Harvey. Villanueva still resides in AAA Iowa and has yet to make the big leagues.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Villanueva (0.0) 0.0, Hendricks (0.0) 4.2, Dempster (19.9) 0.3

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/0.3

Cubs total WAR (traded) and received: (19.9)/4.2

Results: The Jon Daniels winning streak didn’t last very long. Dempster ended up being a dumpster fire of an acquisition. The Rangers needed starting pitching help and got who they thought was the best pitcher available. At the time of the trade, it didn’t look too bad but like all trades you have to wait to reserve judgement. The success of Kyle Hendricks would make this a loss for the Rangers in my mind.


Rangers send P Jake Brigham to the Chicago Cubs for C Geovany Soto


The Rangers were in search of a backup catcher to help Mike Napoli. Yorvit Torrealba wasn’t the answer the team was looking for and the hope was that a change of scenery would do the former Rookie of the Year Soto some good.

Soto didn’t do a whole lot better in terms of numbers in Texas. He did have a couple of timely hits and some big RBI in some games but really wasn’t the answer the Rangers were looking for despite hitting five homers and driving in 25 in 47 games. He had a litlte bit of a better year in 2013 posting a .794 OPS in 54 games.

Brigham was traded back to Texas in the 2012 offseason because of some apparent shoulder issues and was later granted free agency. Brigham ended up in Atlanta this season and finally made his major league debut but has a 5.59 ERA in five appearances.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Brigham (0.0) 0.0, Soto (9.3) 0.7

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/0.7

Cubs total WAR (traded) and received: (9.3)/0.0

Results: I’d call this a win for the Rangers. I wouldn’t argue with you if you wanted to call this a neutral trade either. JD and company got what they wanted and knew that Soto may or may not improve from his Chicago days. Considering what they gave up, it wasn’t a trade that hurt them.



Rangers send P CJ Edwards, P Justin Grimm, P Neil Ramirez, and 3B Mike Olt to the Chicago Cubs for P Matt Garza


I hated this trade from the minute it was reported. I personally felt like they gave up entirely too much for Garza and going back to look at the trade now, it appears my fears were right. Edwards and Ramirez alone were probably too much by themselves.

Matt Garza came to Texas and didn’t pitch terrible but he didn’t pitch like the Rangers were hoping. His 4.38 ERA was more than a full run higher than it was in Chicago and his 3.98 FIP suggest he really wasn’t much that much better than his ERA would indicate. He was coming off an injury in 2012 that saw him make just 18 starts and not make his 2013 debut until late May. Perhaps the Rangers were looking at a “fresh arm” value in Garza?

Garza went through a streak that started in August 3rd where he allowed four runs or more in seven of nine starts in which the Rangers went 4-5. But Garza couldn’t jump start the Rangers offense, who for the second straight year performed a historic September collapse. Garza did leave us with a couple of unforgettable faces:

Matt Garza stares down Eric Sogard after a sacrifice bunt attempt. Garza hates bunting.

Matt Garza stares down Eric Sogard after a sacrifice bunt attempt. Garza hates bunting.

Garza goes crazy after a Jurickson Profar walk-off home run beat the Angels Sept 26, 2013

Garza goes crazy after a Jurickson Profar walk-off home run beat the Angels Sept 26, 2013

One thing the Rangers miss badly in their bullpen right now, is relievers who have swing and miss stuff. No one on the Rangers staff misses enough bats. Justin Grimm (13.7 K/9) and Neil Ramirez (9.3 K/9 this season 10.7 ’14-15) have proven very valuable commodities for the Cubs at the back end of their bullpen. Ramirez was the player to be named later in that deal, too. Grimm, who Texas used as a starter, never started a single game for the Cubs as he was immediately moved to the bullpen and  has been successful.

In 114 games, Grimm sports a 3.17 ERA (3.03 FIP) and a 10.1 K/9 while Ramirez is showing off a 1.72 ERA (2.87 FIP) over 63 games with a 10.7 K/9. I’m no scout, but I feel like the Rangers could use that in their bullpen right about now.

Mike Olt has been up and down with the team. He’s batting just .158 with 13 HR and 34 RBI over 274 plate appearances in ’14-15. I asked a former major league player about Olt back in 2013 and he said “Mike Olt will never be an everyday major league player, he’s not good enough.” He appears to be right.

CJ Edwards is the wild card in this trade. The String Bean Slinger as they call him, was one of the best, and newest, Rangers prospects at the time of the trade. Edwards sported a 1.48 ERA with a very  nice 11.4 K/9 between Rookie ball and Short Season Spokane in 2012 – the year he was drafted. Edwards had a 1.83 ERA and 11.8 K/9 in 2013 before being shipped to the Cubs. He battled a shoulder issue last year but has bounced back this year and has made it all the way up to AAA. He’s no longer a starter but is still sporting a 3.20 ERA with a impressive 12.4 K/9 over time in AA and AAA. What he can do in the big leagues remains to be seen but if he gets there and contributes even at an average rate, oh boy.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Edwards (0.0) 0.0, Grimm (-2.0) 1.3, Ramirez (0.0) 1.5, Olt (-0.1) -0.7, Garza (5.6) -0.1

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (-2.3)/-0.1

Cubs total WAR (traded) and received: (5.6)/2.1 (and rising)

Results: I don’t know how anyone could give this trade anything other than a loss to Jon Daniels. This is probably one of his worst deadline deals and might even rank up there with the Adrian Gonzalez deal (not a deadline deal) as one of his worst trades as GM. Maybe JD should stop trading with the Cubs? Maybe this is payback from Theo Epstein on the Gagne for Beltre/Gabbard/Murphy deal?



Rangers send P Jason Frasor to the Kansas City Royals for P Spencer Patton



Kansas City was prepping for their first playoff run since George H Bush was in office and needed some bullpen help. Texas was out of the race and had a couple of pieces that were sought after. For the first time in a few years, the Rangers were sellers.

Frasor was going to be a free agent at the end of the year and was performing well out of the ‘pen. He had a respectable 3.34 ERA (3.50 FIP) and a 9.1 K/9 heading into the middle of July. KC had a lockdown back end of the bullpen with Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, and closer Greg Holland but were looking for a bridge to get them to those guys. Frasor was there guy.

Frasor only gave up three runs the rest of the season posting a 1.53 ERA with 16 strikeouts over 17.2 innings. Rookie phenom Brandon Finnegan replaced him on the depth chart later in the season but Frasor still managed to get into seven games in the postseason posting a 1.69 ERA over 5.1 innings. He did what they brought him in to do.

Spencer Patton, making his Major League Debut, appeared in nine games for Texas last year and was nearly lights out. He posted a 0.96 ERA (2.06 FIP) with eight strikeouts and two walks over 9.1 innings in a lost season. This year has been quite the opposite. Patton’s 6.46 ERA is a bit deceiving in the sense that he has had one really bad outing this year. That bad outing was six runs on three hits over two-thirds of an inning in that really atrocious July 4th weekend series against the Angels. Since that game however, he has posted a 2.25 ERA over his last eight innings spanning nine appearances. The Rangers really like Patton and his improve K/9 rate (7.7 in 2014 to 8.2 in 2015) is something the Rangers like and would like to see that continue to improve.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Frasor (1.3) 1.3, Patton (0.0) 0.2

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (1.3)/0.2 (ongoing)

Royals total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0) 1.3

Results: I would say this is the rare trade that benefits both teams in the end. The Rangers were more than likely going to lose the 36-year-old Frasor at the end of the season to free agency anyways, so they went out and got something for him. Patton has some upside there in the bullpen and could turn out to be a nice piece. If not, hey, he didn’t cost them anything. We’ll chalk this one up as a win for both teams.


Rangers send P Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for P Jake Thompson and P Corey Knebel.


This was another move by Texas to try and replenish some of the farm system they gutted the previous two season in the Garza and Dempster trades. Soria was coming off his first full season post Tommy John and appeared to back to his old self. The Rangers were out of contention and the Tigers bullpen was nightmare. Joe Nathan, the former Rangers closer who signed with Detroit in the offseason as a free agent was unreliable and inconsistent as his ERA near 5.00 and his FIP near 4.00 would suggest, despite his season total of 35 saves.

Soria went to Detroit and was a miserable train wreck. He posted a 5.22 FIP giving up seven runs in just 11 innings. He did manage to get one save out of the deal though, YAY FOR SAVERS! Soria has actually been much better this year for the Tigers posting a 2.93 ERA with 22 saves so far. However his 4.87 FIP would suggest that he has been rather fortunate.

Thompson and Knebel were two of the Tigers best pitching prospects in their system. Knebel had a small cup of coffee with the big boys early in the season before being traded. His ERA (6.23) and FIP (1.63) were vastly different suggesting that he was hurt a bit by BABIP. His 11.4 K/9 in a very short eight game sample size would help support his bad luck. Knebel wasn’t in Texas very long however, as he was packaged with Luis Sardinas and Marcos Diplan and sent to the Cheese Heads in Milwaukee for Yovani Gallardo.

Thompson, the local kid from Rockwall-Heath High School in Rockwall, is the Rangers 4th overall prospect and #1 pitching prospect. He’s also listed as the #65 overall prospect in all of baseball. Thompson has had an up and down season as he works on improving his off-speed offerings. His FB sits in the low 90s but can reach 95 but his slider is perhaps his best pitch. Reaching the upper 80s, the slider has been called a true major league wipe-out pitch. His ETA has been predicted to be this year but I think 2016 is probably more likely.

WAR with (old team) and new team: Soria (0.8) 0.7, Thompson (0.0) 0.0, Knebel (-0.1) 0.0

Rangers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.8)/0.0 (although Gallardo has been worth 2.7 WAR this season if we follow the trade all the way through)

Tigers total WAR (traded) and received: (0.0)/0.7

Results: Detroit appears to be sellers this season which would make me inclined to believe that the Rangers won this trade. Soria has been good this year but flipping Knebel for Gallardo and getting Thompson has this trade tipping to the Rangers favor. Especially when you consider that Gallardo has been pretty good this year and could be flipped in the coming days for a couple of more prospects. There really is no way to know if this trade is a true win for Jon Daniels as it’s still too early to make a definitive decision.

Total WAR traded away by Jon Daniels: 48.9

Total WAR received in trades by Jon Daniels: 63.9 (66.6 if you count Gallardo)

Total net WAR in deadline deals: +15 (+17.7 w/ Gallardo)

Total WAR traded away by opposing teams to Texas: 74.3

Total WAR received in trades by opposing team from Texas: 45.1

Total net WAR in deadline deals for opposing teams: -29.2

Overall net value – traded away vs return: Rangers +44.2 WAR

This isn’t meant to be a perfect evaluation of players and that total WAR number will continue to fluctuate as some of the more recent trades continue to pan out for both teams. However, as we sit right now, Jon Daniels are acquired a massive surplus value in trade deadline deals during his eight years as Rangers GM. There have been a couple of bad trades, there have been some trades that came out equally, and there have been some trades that were small wins for Texas. There was the one giant win for Texas with the Mark Tiexiera trade. And with that trade, there have been two American League Pennants, two AL West Titles, and three postseason appearances.

What will 2015 hold in store for JD and the Rangers? If history is any indication, it should hold a bright future and hopefully a return to the top the American League.

Now that I’ve done the research for you and you have all the information in front if you, how do you feel about the Jon Daniels trade deadline deals? Remember, the criteria for this article was July 1st to July 31st only. So the Adrian Gonzalez deal and the Alex Rios deal, and other deals were not included.

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Billy Casey
Billy is a baseball fanatic and has been around the game since he was four years old. The first ever game he attended was in September of '89 and Pete Incaviglia denied him an autograph after he had a bad batting practice session. Billy has held a grudge since. Billy is also a baseball coach who is known to dance around the dugout like Ron Washington during big plays in the game.

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