JD’s Ninja Status Revoked

“And after today, whether you’re a goat or a hero . . . . you’re gonna make me a great story.” – Max Mercy in “The Natural”

I pointed out last week that JD has come through the last few seasons at the trade deadline with multiple
moves, but this year after acquiring a rental pitcher, the front office strikes out on any and all deals. It is time to lose the “ninja” mantra.
You will read a lot of articles over the next 24 hours that will pump sunshine into the fanbase with the following catchphrases:

 “No impact bat”

“Not cost effective”

“Standing pat was best decision”

“Wait until August for trade”

It’s all crap.

Let’s  look further into each one of these…

Impact bat:

It appears that the front office was going after the big prizes (Bautista, Encarnacion, Carlos Gonzalez, Stanton and others) and clearly struck out. JD was quoted several times saying there were not “impact bats” out on the trade market, but I would argue that it is all relative. When your left fielder, shortstop, broken-down designated hitter and first baseman have an OPS of .654, .609, .732 and .742, I would say it is not difficult to find somebody who can make a bigger impact than those players. Are you replacing Elvis? Of course not because of his defense, but the other guys are easily replaceable.

Cost effective:

It sounds like Rios was too expensive which is fine, but when you go out and get a rental pitcher that cost several decent prospects and don’t pair that move with fixing your glaring weaknesses, it is a problem. As I pointed out in the other article, at the time JD traded for Garza it appeared that the team was going “all in.” Today’s goose egg in the trade department goes against that idea. Would another trade or two hurt the Rangers’ farm system? Sure. But the cupboards are far from bare.

Stand pat:

Why? Last time I checked the Rangers are looking up at not only Oakland, but also Boston, Baltimore and Cleveland for the wild card spots. These last two games were exciting to say the least, but if you think this team is on the right track because they beat a depleted Angels’ team in the final at bat (twice!), then you’re delusional.

August trades:

When was the last star player acquired in an August trade? Go ahead and look it up, I’ll wait. The Giants acquired Cody Ross back in 2010 who went on an amazing (albeit fluky) hitting rampage that stretched into the postseason and helped San Fran capture their first World Series in 56 years. So what is the biggest August trade the Rangers have made?

Answer:  A’s Trade Jose Canseco to the Rangers for Ruben Sierra, Bobby Witt, Jeff Russell and cash.

“Trust in JD”

Today was a definite dent in that armor.

Eddie Middlebrook is the co-host of “Chin Music” and VP of Media for ShutDowninning.
He can be reached at
 Eddie.Middlebrook@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @emiddlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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